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Borghi dei Tesori: uncover Piana degli Albanesi.

Piana degli Albanesi has finally become part of the Borghi dei Tesori circuit, which is the association created to enhance the Sicilian villages. Three weekends are planned and that of 3 and 4 September will be the last.

To best represent our village we point out two places that can be visited with Borghi dei Tesori, which represent the history and identity of Piana degli Albanesi and which are the Museum of the Collegio di Maria and the Sanctuary of Maria SS. Odigitria.

The College and the Sanctuary are two distinct but merged buildings that dominate the town's main square.

Museo Collegio di Maria
Interno | Museo Collegio di Maria (© Alessandro Ferrantelli)

The museum of the Collegio di Maria is the most popular destination for those visiting Piana degli Albanesi because this museum is not open to the public and is only open on special occasions or by reservation. This museum preserves the largest permanent exhibition of sacred vestments of the Byzantine rite, made in this College by the hand of the Collegine Sisters who also taught the art of embroidery to the boarders who attended the College. The museum was founded in the sixties by the will of Sister Maria Pia Caronna, a nun who did a lot for the dissemination of culture in Piana degli Albanesi. In 2014 this museum was the subject of a radical transformation conceived and curated by Salvatore Vasotti, former group leader of the FAI in Piana degli Albanesi, with the scientific advice of Professor Rita Cedrini, former head of the FAI delegation in Palermo and the superintendent Maria Elena Volpes, who with the support of local volunteers and the great trust of the then Mother Superior Sister Maria Canicattì, gave a more museum-like imprint to a permanent exhibition.

Museo Collegio di Maria
Madonna Odigitria | Museo Collegio di Maria (© Alessandro Ferrantelli)

Today the Museum of the Collegio di Maria in addition to the largest exhibition of sacred vestments of the Byzantine rite offers you the opportunity to admire Byzantine icons of the seventeenth century, paintings of extraordinary artistic value, a rare version of the traditional female costume of Piana degli Albanesi, very rich embroideries made with ancient techniques, refined wax plastics of the Sicilian school and rare sacred objects related to the Byzantine rite. To book your visit to the Museum of the Collegio di Maria click qui .

Santuario M. SS. Odigitria
Interno | Santuario M. SS. Odigitria (© Alessandro Ferrantelli)

The Sanctuary of M. SS. Odigitria, built in the seventeenth century on a project by the Monreale Pietro Novelli, is an unmissable stop because it can be considered as a precious casket that preserves the Sacred Image of the Madonna Odigitria which in popular tradition was the one brought to Sicily by the Albanians in the fifteenth century. This Sacred Image is as if set in an imposing Altar machine that reproduces the Madonna Odigitria as it was seen by Sicilian soldiers on the occasion of the third liberation of Constantinople. Here you will discover the fascinating story of the spread of the Madonna of Itria throughout Sicily.

In the Sanctuary you can also admire paintings of great artistic value such as "the souls of Purgatory" by Pietro Petta, an artist from Piana degli Abanesi who trained in the school of Patania and is inspired by Novelli. To book your visit to the Museum of the Collegio di Maria click qui .

Santuario M. SS. Odigitria
Dettaglio | Anime del Purgatorio | Santuario M. SS. Odigitria (© Stefano Schirò)

On the occasion of the Borghi dei Tesori, the Collegio di Maria and the Sanctuary of Maria SS. Odigitria have recruited and trained nineteen volunteers who will welcome you to reveal the treasures of these two places.

You can also visit the church of San Nicola, the church of San Giorgio, the Nicola Barbato Civic Museum, the Municipal Library. As experiences you can experience the Lucito jewelry and cannoli and finally as walks you can explore the naturalistic oasis of the lake (for the complete program click qui)).

We are waiting for you in Piana degli Albanesi with Borghi dei Tesori on 3 and 4 September.


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