make a booking

& events

San Gandolfo Festival
The 7th Wednesday after Easter and the 3rd week end in September
find out more >

The Most Holy Crucifix
Starts May 1st
find out more >

La Sagra delle Nocciole (The Hazelnut Festival)
Always in August usually after the 15th, a moveable date

Lo Sfoglio
Late August

Santa Lucia
December 13


Associated Links


The mountain village of Isnello - apricots and a Byzantine Madonna

Posted by Suzanne Turrisi on 22 Nov 2018


Through the Madonie

About 30 odd kilometres from Polizzi along the mountainous roads of The Madonie the ancient and tiny medieval town of Isnello sits beneath some impressive limestone mountains.

One Thursday at the start of this year's Sicilian summer I wandered Isnello for an hour or so before lunch.


Isnello's Vittorio Emanuele

After walking back streets to the paved main street, Vittorio Emanuele, I strolled past a few shops and cafes, narrow tall houses, the occasional house front overflowing with geraniums, the odd centuries old palazzo, conical spires and the Chiesa Madre (the mother church), dedicated to San Nicola, the village patron saint. 

It was quiet and there was some light rain about.


A Byzantine statue and local apricots

The doors of the Chiesa Madre were open and in a side chapel there was a 16th century wooden Byzantine icon, a statue of La Madonna Odigitria also known as the Madonna of Itria. I have read that she is the patron saint of Sicily. Faded and slightly worn her face was poised and divine.

And nearby was a stuccoed figure looking sideways with its back arched and its head appearing crowned.

And around the corner from the Chiesa Madre a fruit shop was still open with crates, filled with produce, stacked along the street. I bought some local Isnello apricots- sweet and a deep apricot orange in colour- they were good. 


A ruined castle

Isnello’s ruined Byzantine castle sits high up behind the corner fruit shop. I saw the sign. The discovery of that will have to be for another time.

I headed to just outside Collesano (another lovely stone village of the Madonie) for lunch.




<< Back to list