The inner center

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The inner center

The little Streets

The old city center still keeps unchanged the ancient town planning structure, still readable in the original weft of streets and, above all, the typical architectural compositions.

The houses, laid one on top of the other, the small streets pressed together and sloping, the little lanes and the numerous courtyards, the steps, the paving in lava stone and the many testimonies left by the stone cutters of Bronte on the façades, in the portals, in the windows, still show intact the remains of an ancient civilization brontese.
The modest, quiet, silent social life which takes place mostly in the Corso Umberto ("a chiazza"), the principal street which cuts in two the town.

The Corso Umberto ("a chiazza"), with the characteristic paving made with slabs cut in lava stone ("i barati") is the main road of the habitat.

It is the first road you'll meet coming to Bronte from Catania. Begins to the "Scialandro" and, with a winding trend, proceeds like an elegant frame to many churches and most important palaces.

Via Annunziata

Via S. Giovanni

Via Cosenza

Via Imbriani

Via  T. Campanella

Via Carmen

Via Mazzini

Via Giunone

Via Imbriani

From it a dense web of small, narrow streets spreads out to reach churches and palaces, steps, courtyards, an authentic labyrinth that envelops the Bronte' ancient urban conglomeration.

Finishes, across the massive and ever present structure of the Capizzi College, in Piazza Spedalieri, that, from always, represents the zone for the parties, the demonstrations and the political meetings.

Besides the votive Aedicules and the lava stone portals, the flights of steps represent another important element of the narrow, little streets of the historical centre of Bronte.
Built over the slope that from the feet of Mount Etna goes down to the Simeto River.

The material used was nearly always lava stone.

Visiting the old city center of Bronte you'll find pieces of great beauty and suggestion.

It is marked by narrow and tortuous streets on which several churches were erected and the remains of the ancient brontese civilization are still intact.

The more important ancient buildings and palaces still preserve the original, elegant moldings and some interesting elements in lava stone (the material most used through the centuries).

Via Imbriani

Via Marsala


Via Imbriani

Via Luca della Robbia

Via Cicerone

Its narrow streets, courtyards, steps, paving in lava stone and the many testimonies left by the stone cutters of Bronte on the façades, in the portals, in the windows, still show unchanged the primitive buildings and the remains of the old country town.

The more ancient districts are found in Via Santi, in the area Annunziata and Soccorso and around La Matrice church.

In Corso Umberto ("a chiazza"), main road of the habitat and representative space of the local social life, you find the most important palaces including the prestigious Capizzi College.

In the center small streets, still adapted to an  agricultural econo­my, and not, as yet, invested by the rhythm of industrial life, every­thing preserve an aspect by now unknown to city life.

The family preserves part of the ancient power on his members, and, on everybody, is practiced the "incessant" protective vigilance of the neighborhood, to which is impossible to escape, but that does not impose such constraints to force the individuals to an outward behavior of acts and opinions.

The ancient settlements, which conformed to the social structure with perfect adhesion, have been gradually submitted, since centuries, to the collision with industrial civilization.
Some of them could not stand this contact and disaggregated.

Their ancient balance was dispersed, but some ancient buildings with small streets and courtyards still subsist.
The ancient public spaces, however, that still answer eminently to collective purposes, are now somewhat different from those of a time.

Historical centre to save?


The safeguard of this centre, the preser­vation of the ancient quar­ters and houses and the enhance­ment of this cultural and tourist resource doesn’t seem to have been an important objective for the various Councils who have admini­strated Bronte in these last years.
The sky blue water tanks that stand out in Bronte’s panora­ma and the abundance of red plastic pipes show us an exemplary pattern.
Why could not be activated a pro­gram to stimulate the making of new façades and a set plan of colours to respect the local traditions?

Bronte, via Benedetto Radice


             Translated by Sam Bella

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