For accommodation information, please contact Suzanne Turrisi.

our location in Sicily

Polizzi Generosa, population around 3500 is a noble, unhurried yet vibrant stone Sicilian village in the Madonie National Park, 85km from Palermo, Sicily's capital.

Polizzi sits 917m high on a rock crest at the head of the two big fertile valleys of the Imera River which is now a summer torrent. It is surrounded by majestic forested mountains, cultivated valleys, fresh air, spring water and ancient flour mills.

It is a great base to explore The Madonie National park, its ancient stone villages, Palermo, which in Brian Johnston's words is a "glorious, breathtaking, shocking city" and also greater Sicily. Polizzi Generosa is the Sicilian village of the Australian Sicilian Turrisi family.

What's in the village:

  • a number of slow food restaurants

  • numerous bars and cafes

  • pastry shops and bakeries

  • delicatessens selling local produce

  • supermarkets

  • ice cream shops

  • an historic 40,000 volume library

  • archeological museum

  • numerous churches with significant artworks

  • summer concerts

  • festivals

  • architecture of historical significance

  • pottery studios

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what's nearby?

Polizzi Generosa is located within 20 minutes of the A19 Motorway, providing easy access to the airports and following destinations:

Madonie National Park
enjoy skiiing, hiking, restaurants, walking, old mills,
flora and fauna, historic villages and more

20 minute drive


56 km


85 km

Piazza Armerina

92 km


115 km


141 km


162 km

Mt Etna

181 km


191 km


195 km

more about the area


The Island of Sicily is captivating, chaotic, pleasurable and complex - its enigmatic nature the result of its long succession of conquerors - Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Saracens, Normans, Swabians, Spanish and French - a host of civilisations. A testament to Sicily’s connection with her noble past is that' the Sicilian Parliament still meets in King Roger II old Palazzo in Palermo', (John Julius Norwich 'Great Cities in History'). It has a tumultuous history, the mafia, wonderful writers, photographers, musicians, art, architecture, natural beauty and seasonal food.

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The Madonie National Park set up in 1989 is in the central northern part of Sicily. Polizzi Generosa is at the edge of this glorious national park. The mountains are dramatic. It is unique. There is an abundance of water, snow, beech and oak forests. Meadows of peonies and ginestra, orchids, cyclamens, wild sweet Peas and hedges of blackberries and blueberries abound. Here one can pick wild mushrooms, wild fennel and wild asparagus.

It is truly a natural beauty. It is dotted with medieval villages (Polizzi Generosa, Castelbuono, Collesano, Petralia Soprana and Sottana, Geraci and Cefalu), abbeys, castles, old mills and shepherds' huts. It is 40,000 hectares where one can walk, hike, bike, ski, camp and take in the fresh air.

These mountains, it has been said, were celebrated in antiquity, by the Greek Historian Diodorus Siculus, by Pliny and by Al - Idirsi, the famous Arab geographer, to the court of Roger II when Sicily was under Norman rule.


Its coastline has an azure beauty and its landscape is dramatic and mountainous. The seasons punctuate the Sicilian year with distinction - wild mushrooms, strawberries, figs and cherries in the summer, lemons, clementines and oranges in the winter, olives and artichokes in the autumn and almond blossoms and wild flowers in the spring. It is a fertile land, over which Etna broods, spilling her generosity at intervals. It’s also a land that has suffered at the hands of corruption.

Sicily is a place which contains wonderful Greek temples and theatres and the sights of the most outstanding Roman and Byzantine mosaics as well as spectacular Arab-Norman architecture. It has a deep agricultural interior, which is dotted with Sicilian stone villages where life is still in sync with the seasons, but still moves in step with the modern world. It is a place where each village and city, still venerates its patron saint and parades them through the street. Where all the people turn out, bowing their heads. “There is something elemental and timeless, about touching of lips and bowing to gods, the miracles and wonders of a Sicily thousands of years old” (Brian Johnston).

Their festivals, whether they are religious, or in honour of the hazelnut, grapes or gelato, always manage “to combine with ease the festive with the mournful” (Francine Prose). There is always a village band parading the street, playing, haunting sorrowful music one moment and festival music the next. “This ease of combination is so Sicilian” (Francine Prose).

The Sicilian food will always delight you, it is food so full of history that “you can smell and taste the influences and passions of the Islands heritage”. (Brian Johnston).

From exquisite mosaics; Mount Etna; mountain villages; baroque noble palaces; the Greek theatres and temples of Taormina and Siracusa; the wonder of the island's Arab Norman architecture; the beaches of Cefalu, San Vito Lo Capo and Isola Bella, the national parks of the Madonie, Nebrodie and Zingara......Sicily will not fail to delight you, intrigue you and at times frustrate you.

Polizzi Generosa

Polizzi is a village of art and culture; quiet spaces in winter; and a festive summer air. It is a village of stone paved streets, flights of stairs, thousand year old Arab arches, numerous churches, noble palazzi and sun filled piazzas. It is a 'proud' town where the young and old enjoy their village.

It runs to the Sicilian clock. From 1pm-4pm the village is so quiet that it is easy to think that no one lives there. It stirs again for the nightly passeggiata. In the summer months (in particular August) the village is alive with concerts, live theatre and people dining in 'slow food' restaurants or enjoying an aperitivo in one of the bars along the main corso, via Garibaldi or savouring a gelato.

The people of Polizzi enjoy the summer nights and the streets are alive with a late night passeggiata, music and conversation.

The restaurants often serve seasonal food which is picked  locally. In the early autumn wild mushrooms are picked in the mountains and are used to make wonderful risotto, pasta or an antipasto.

During the quieter winter months the perfume of burning wood and the mist envelop Polizzi, whose streets and stone buildings are lit by soft yellow lights. It is a perfect place for a cold Sicilian Christmas.

It is a village where centuries old festivals both 'profane and sacred' (Vincent Schiavelli, "Many Beautiful Things") are still a part of life. The feast of San Gandolfo (The patron Saint) in the 3rd weekend of September is a 3 day religious festival. It is haunting, moving and full of social energy. The hazelnut festival in the last weekend of August is also a 3 day event where the whole village turns out to join in the music, dance and spectacular parade. It is a chance to see firsthand how Sicilian life was lived years ago.

Polizzi Generosa is a village where the people enjoy their mountains through the seasons– skiing in winter, picnicking in summer, walking and hiking in the seasons of spring and autumn.

Polizzi dates back to the 3rd century BC (Theresa Maggio, "The Stone Boudoir") when the Greeks settled there and made 'fine' vases and household items from the local clay. To this day, there are potters in Polizzi who continue this tradition. Giovanni D’Angelo has continued a near 300 year old family tradition. He has a shop on the main street and his kiln is out of town. There is a wonderful archaeological museum in the basement of the old Jesuit monastry, which in 1572 started a school of 1st letters. It is now the City Hall which also houses a library of 40,000 volumes including the precious Duca  Lancia di Brollo library.

The village’s name has always stirred interest. One explanation is that it was named Polis Isis (the city of Isis), under the Greeks in 3rd Century BC, when the Egyptian goddess Isis was worshipped in Sicily. Polizzi reflects a layered history and culture. Today, its cultural organisation “associazoni culturali naftolia” is active.

From the Byzantine period the ruins of a fortress "still grace the cityscape" and there is an area of Polizzi with houses from the Arab ( (Saracen) interlude. Polizzi was "conquered by the Saracens " in 882. The minaret, above the San Antonio Abate Church is evidence of a mosque from this period. It was Federico II in 1234, who bestowed the name "Generosa" upon Polizzi due to the 'generous hospitality'he was shown when he stayed there; and Federico also bestowed Polizzi Generosa, the status of “Citta demaniale”. Which meant, as Vincent Schiavelli notes in his book "Many Beautiful Things" that for 600 years, up to the unification of Italy, under the direct patronage of the King Polizzi was free to make its own decisions. Schiavelli adds that Polizzi was given its own coat of arms and was free of the 'intrusion' of the barons.

 It has been called a 'cosmopolitan town' ( Theresa Maggio, 'The Stone Boudoir')  and still is today.

Polizzi is an ancient, noble town.



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& events

San Gandolfo Festival
The 7th Wednesday after Easter and the 3rd week end in September
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The Most Holy Crucifix
Starts May 1st
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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


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