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Cammarata -San Giovanni Gemini

Your next destination in Sicily in the Sicani mountains

A mountain of excellence
Chiesa annunziata cammarata esterno

Open on several occasions, It is found  in via Annunziata in Cammarata

How it looks

In the lower part of the town stands the Church of the Annunziata. It is the most characteristic church of Cammarata. It is worth a visit to observe the discreet harmony of this sixteenth-century building. The church is preceded by a pronaos dated 1521 with a pointed arch in the main facade, and with two round side arches separated by an elegant column. The interior has a single nave, with a barrel vault, enriched with pure gold stuccoes. The church houses a crucifix, called della Pioggia, following a miracle that took place in the mid-eighteenth century, when the simulacrum of the Crucifix purchased by the population of Burgio was temporarily kept in the temple because bad weather prevented us from continuing the journey. The sculpture remained in Cammarata because every time the Burgitans tried to resume their journey, the sky darkened and it began to rain again. In the church there is a large canvas depicting the Penitent Magdalene attributed to the school of Guido Reni, another eighteenth-century canvas depicting the Annunciation of the Virgin and artistic wooden statues, such as that of the Madonna Annunziata and that of St. James the Apostle.

Church of the Annunziata 


Church of the Annunziata Cammarata interior


​The church of the Annunziata could be pre-existing compared to the Monastery e  it seems that in a remote period it was dedicated to Santa Maria degli Infermi,  but we don't know  the source of this news reported by De Gregorio. According to Vincenzo La Mendola,  Theologian, historian and friend, this dedication could mean that in the beginning it was linked to the Carmelite Order.
Surely it arose along the transhumance route that allowed the flocks, following the Turibolo stream, to ascend to the green pastures during the summer months.
It was referred to by the Cammaratesi as "Badia di sotto" to distinguish it from the "Badia di sopra" that is the Church of Santa Domenica of the other Benedictine monastery of the town, which we actually still call "Badia" today.
The church appears today in good condition because it was restored about thirty years ago.
Surely  the interior  does not match  to what the nuns lived during their prayers a few centuries ago: in the eighteenth century  indeed  was  heavily modified, perhaps coinciding with the transfer of the nuns to the Monastery of Santa Domenica in via Roma.

The monastery of the Annunziata:

The origins of the Annunziata monastery are not clear to date: the Cammarata historian Domenico De Gregorio, referring in turn to Pirro as the first authoritative source, places its foundation in the era of the Abatellis, which in Cammarata can be placed between 1435 and 1500.

​ Some documents that speak specifically of the Monastery of the Annunziata di Cammarata are kept in the Archives of the Mother Church, studied by De Gregorio. They basically report information on the abbesses who succeeded one another over the centuries, on the dates of their election or death, as well as on that of the nuns. Unfortunately, the archives of the monasteries were lost during the suppressions, an element that leaves a great void for historical research. ​

On the side of the church you can see two high sheared walls and it could be plausible to think that they belonged to a body of the monastery perpendicular to it.  Certainly the building was not small, as it housed up to 30 nuns, and was equipped with well-defined environments such as the refectory, the kitchen, the novitiate, the infirmary and, most likely, a cloister.  (could this be the beam sometimes mentioned in the documents?).  For the cloistered nuns the cloister was a necessary place for religious life, where they took air, recreations often took place, strolled and often worked, protected from the sun, rain and bad weather. ​ The high door on the perimeter wall could also suggest a building  collapsed  two-story and it  could be  to be  it was a service exit. but these are just guesses at the moment

side view of the rediscovered garden of Cammarata

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Presepe vivente di Cammarata

2 major events  among the most beautiful in Sicily.

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