A piece of Catalogna in Italy
Although the name misleads, Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto is not in Spain, but in the province of Messina. According to some, the origin of the name derives from the similarity between the Catalan city's geographical position and its Tyrrhenian one: just as the former slopes down on the terminal foothills of the Pyrenees and overlooks the Mediterranean, so the Sicilian town from the hilly Peloritani slopes down on the plain to overlook the Gulf of Patti in the Tyrrhenian Sea.
The oldest part of the town is Pozzo di Gotto, an area in which a well was created, used to irrigate the lands between the stream Idria and the Longano, which belonged, according to a document from 1463, to the Messinese Nicolò Goto. Beyond the peculiar name, the town is rich in places of interest. Among the many, the Grotta di Santa Venere, a rock temple of Armenian-Byzantine derivation, dating from the VII-VIII century.
Also of particular artistic importance are the Basilica Church of the Assumption, built in the first half of the seventeenth century and rebuilt in the XIX century, the 1606 Cathedral of St Sebastian, rebuilt in 1936, the nineteenth century Church of St Vitus, and the necropolis from the VI-VII centuries BC.