Castelvetrano | Selinunte
La valle del Belice
The Dragotto Farm has the privilege to be located in “La Valle del Belice”, a unique area for its beauty and weather.
La Valle del Belice embraces a large area that extends all round the city of Castelvetrano, following the Belice river for all its lenght. La Valle lies in the provinces of Agrigento, Palermo and Trapani.
An area full of magic, where history and natural beauties meet.
This area witnessed sicani, elimi, phoenician, greek, roman, norman, arabic and spanish presence, people that left indelible signs behind as the archaeological, artistic, cultural heritage show. Ancient grinders found in Selinunte prove how important already was the olive oil trade. Infact, dealing with agri-food production was a common practice for all these people that settled in la Valle del Belice.
“Valle del Belice”, the cradle of the Nocellara del Belice olive.
Castelvetrano, heart of la Valle del Belice, rises amid the lush valleys of the Delia and Belìce rivers. The city was founded by the Normans. Its “golden age” was between the XV and XVI century thanks to the policy adopted by the lords of the time, above all Giovanni Vincenzo Tagliavia, the first Count of Castelvetrano, and Carlo d’Aragona-Tagliavia, the first Prince.
The center of Castelvetrano is adorned with many fine buildings of different styles, a real window to the past centuries.
The Mother Church (la Chiesa Madre), named after Maria SS Assunta, stands amid alleys and aristocratic palaces. It is house of many artworks, especially from 1500 – 1600. Gaspare Serpotta and Pietro Novelli are just two of the artists that left their artworks here.
Right in front of the Mother Church, the town hall stands. It is a 1600’s branching of the imposing Pignatelli palace, built by order of Castelvetrano lords. On the eastern side of the palace stands the 1600’s “Collegiata dei Santi Pietro e Paolo”, while on the opposite side the Church of Purgatory (Chiesa del Purgatorio) and the Selinus Theater.
In the proximity of the Mother Church, Villa Regina Margherita stands in between the church of San Domenico, built in the second half of 1400 and decorated in 1500 with stucco work by Antonino Ferraro, and the Church of San Giovanni, finished in the first half of 1600 and house of precious work of art, the marble statue of San Giovanni Battista, sculpted in 1522 by Antonello Gagini.
Down the Mediterranean coast, to the south, there is Selinunte, the biggest trade center of V century B.C., founded by colonists from Megara Iblea in 650 B.C. Castelvetrano and Selinunte are often geographically and historically linked to each other.
Selinunte archaeological site is the widest and most imposing in Europe right now (270 hectares). It is possible to admire many magnificent monuments that are a testimony to Selinunte prestige, a prestige that was completely destroyed by the Carthaginian Annibale di Gisgone in 409 B.C.
Selinunte dominates over the beautiful littoral with golden sand.
Not too far away from Selinunte, right where the Belice river ends and the see starts, there is the Natural Reserve of la Foce del Belice, a unique natural space where flora and fauna from marsh and marine environment meet, thanks to the Belice river mouth and the Mediterranean sea. An always-changing landscape.
If you’re looking for the Dragotto Farm you need to head north from Castelvetrano, where the Delia river stops, its stream when it meets the artificial Trinity lake, created for irrigation purpose, but it is also used for sportfishing and rowing.
Nearby, amid centuries-old trees, the Church of “SS Trinità di Delia” stands. This is one of the fewest norman era monuments, that are still preserved in Trapani.
History, nature and culinary excellence, this is la Valle del Belice, this is Castelvetrano, this is Sicily. This is us.