Church of St Nicola
The present little church
dedicated to San Nicola, located in the homonymous district along
the road that takes to Maniace and Cesaro’.
It was constructed in the years ’50 on the ruins of the ancient
church described by B. Radice and destroyed by the air raids of
the last war.
Constructed in the open country became pretty soon, due to the
housing expansion in that zone, a parish seat (since the 9th
of October 1986).
Too small to accommodate the parishioners of Sciarotta and San
Nicola’s districts, one of the most populated Bronte’s areas, was
substituted by a new church dedicated to Saint Agata and
constructed nearby according to a project prepared by an architect
from Bronte Gigi Longhitano.
«In the testament of father Matteo Uccellatore of 22 September 1720 and in the deed of Giovanni Mancani it is written that about fifty steps
further from the church of St Nicola di Bari, placed downhill, in the St
Nicola area, called once Zenia and corresponding now to Piano della
Sena, there existed another church dedicated to the same Saint, which
was buried by the lava of 1651 together with the St Antonino and St
Pietro dell’Illichito churches.
this small church there is no mention in the 1574 pastoral
visit or in the reveals. The district Zenia contained many vineyards and apple orchards,
irrigated by perennial waters now disappeared.
It was therefore the lava of 1651 that buried the old church
of St Antonino and St Pietro, as later wrote the Musumeci about
the 1832 eruption, and not the 1536 eruption as written by
father De Luca in his Bronte’s History.
In the 1536 eruption possibly was buried the Purgatory
church, whose site is not known. The
lava flow of 1651 spread from SS. Cristo to Brigolo and down to St Nicola until Ponte Sciara.
This eruption scared so much
people that they decided to emigrate; but the Hospital rectors, fearing
the land depopulation, tried to stop them by offering the feud of Gollia,
which was not accepted.
In October of 1814 the jury and the Parish of Bronte asked for
the erection of a new church in the district Sciarone, transferring in
it the cult and the annuities of the St Nicola’s church.
was ratified by the King with a dispatch of the 12th
October 1814 that advised the Mons Archbishop of Messina. The craved for
and conceded transfer however was not carried out and the Sciarone was
left without a church.
The St Nicola statue is made of wood and caries this inscription: Ex
charitate fidelium et ex industria Mr. Marii Messina anno 1793.
The small bell is of 1722.»
(Benedetto Radice, Historical Memories of Bronte. Bronte 1926)