Acquaviva Platani

Acquaviva Platani (CL)(Arab. Michinese): A commune in the province of Caltanissetta.
Area: 14.72 km². Alt. 558 m. CAP: 93010. Tel. Pref.: 0934. Geographical Coordinates: Lat 37°34’22″08 N/Long 13°42’8″64 E. Population: 1,102 (2006e); 1,231 (2001); 1,570 (1991). % Change in Population from 1991 to 2001: . Population Density (2001): / km². Inhabitants Designation: Acquavitesi.
Location & Setting: Located 55 km. WNW of Calta­nissetta. It is situated on a hill to the right of the river Plàtani. Part of the Regione Agraria n. 1 – Colline dell’Alto Platani.
Economy: The commune’s economy is based on sulfur mining, agriculture (wheat, cereals, olives, almonds, and pistachios), and livestock (horses, cattle, sheep). Local industries include milling and macaroni manufacturing.
Historic Population Figures: 1,591(1861); 2,539(1901); 2,606(1921); 3,672(1951); 1,560(1981); 1,231(2001).
History: The area of the commune has been occupied since prehistoric times. Archaeologists have revealed evidence of Sikan, Sikel, Roman and Saracen origins. It was not until the 10th century, however, that the Saracens founded Michinese, the first organized center. Under the Normans, it became a fief, first held by a soldier named Giovanni di Loharia. It was later inherited by his daughter Marina, wife of Santero del Castello, a nobleman from Messina. At the time of the outbreak of the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the fief was under the control of Ursotto Sexdivitis. After the Aragonese victory, the center became the property of the Sicilian crown. In 1360, it was awarded to one Federico di Tabula from Messina. The existing town, itself, was established by Francesco Spatafora in 1653. In 1680 it passed into the hands of Francesco Abarca, and was later inherited by his nephew Michele Olivieri.
                The citizens of the center participated in the revolutions in 1820, 1848 and 1860.
                A major earthquake struck in 1990.
                The name Acquaviva derives from the many springs that exist in the area. In 1862, the commune officially changed its name to Acquaviva Platani (the surname deriving from that of the nearby river Platani), the purpose being to avoid confusion with other Italian towns also called Acquaviva.
Points of Interest: Archaeological sites are located at Corvo, Mario Pepi, Salma, Cubolone, Vignazze, Santa Margherita, Marcatogrande, and several other places.
                 There is a Neolithic tomb (c1400 BC) in the Vignazze quarter.
                Earthenware pottery dating from c800 BC has been unearthed at Contrada Montagna.
                Ruins of a building, possibly of ancient Roman origin, were discovered in 1877 near the site of the present-day railway. The remains include pavement and mosaics. In the vicinity, Roman era coins have also been found dating from the reigns of Elagabalus to Decius (AD 218 to 251).
                Of interest is the mother church of Madonna di Grazie (or S. Maria delle Luce), located to the E of the center. Founded in 1635 (with restoration work done in 1913), it is principally a late-Renaissance structure and is flanked by a campanile with a loggia. The church’s interior includes three naves, laid out as a Latin cross. Housed within is a wooden statue of the Virgin by Bagnasco. The wooden Crucifix, dating from c1890, is believed to be the work of Michele Caltagirone (aka Quarantino) of Casteltermini (1854-1928). Another treasure is an oil painting of Sant’Alfonso dei Liguori by Salvatore Lo Forte (1809 – 1885) of Palermo.
                Of the secular monuments, the remains of the former Baronial Palace may be of some interest.
                Alessandro Lazzarini built the 17-meter high civic clock tower (Torre dell’Orologio) in 1894.
Principal Monuments:
Chiesa Madre di S. Maria della Luce
Chiesa del Purgatorio
Culture & Religion: Patron Saint(s): SS. Crocifisso (FD- 2nd Sunday in September).
Festival of Madonna delle Grazie– 1st Sunday of July.
Festival of SS. Crocifisso- 2nd Sunday in September.