Point of interest

Oct 5, 2023 1:02 PM

Pentedattilo is a village in the municipality of Melito Porto Salvo (RC), one of the most characteristic of the Grecanic area. Located 250 meters above the sea level, the old town is perched on the cliff of Calvary Mount, from which it gets its name because of the characteristic shape of hand (penta daktylos = five fingers). 

Chalcidian colony in 640 BC, it was a thriving economic center for the entire Greek-Roman period. With the Byzantine domination and looting Saracens began a long period of decline. In the twelfth century Pentedattilo was conquered by the Normans and became barony, passing, over the years, to several noble families: Abenavoli, Francoperta and Alberti, the protagonists of the crime known as "Alberti's Massacre" (April 16, 1686 ), which has inspired the novel "The tragedy of Pentidattilo", by Andrea Cantadori. Protagonists of the story, the family members of Abenavoli and Alberti, whose ancient rivalry for issues of landowners, found vent in a passionate and loving pretext. 

The "Alberti's Massacre" gave origin to various legends: one of them says that the rocky crags above the village are the bloody fingers of the murderer's hands, the Baron Abenavoli (the "Hand of the Devil"); another, said that during the winter evenings it can still hear the screams of the Marquis Lorenzo Alberti. Pentedattilo was seriously damaged by the earthquake of 1789 and depopulated. In the early 80s, the village was rediscovered by cultural and charities associations, beginning a slow path to recovery and development. Every summer, Pentedattilo is fixed stage of the traveling festival "Paleariza", important event of the Grecanic culture; between August and September also hosts the international film festival of short movies "Pentedattilo Film Festival". The charm of this place has inspired a famous lithograph by the artist Maurits Cornelis Escher (1930).

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Pentedattilo, Melito di Porto Salvo
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