Calatafimi Segesta’s origins date back to the 9th century.
The Arabic origin of the town’s name “Qal’at Fîmî” comes from the Castle Eufemio the name of the officer in the service of Byzantium who according to tradition favored entrance of Arabs in Sicily.
The ancient /medieval Borgo area was under the reign of Frederick III of Sicily, and
Calatafimi, with Alcamo has been part of the Modica County from 1420 to 1802 until it has been annexed to The Kingdom of the Two Sicilies.
Calatafimi has been annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia following the expedition of Mille.
Here with the aid of Redshirts, Garibaldi won the battle against Neapolitan troops in 1860, 15th May on the hill’s top of Pianto Romano where an imposing mausoleum designed in 1885 by architect Ernesto Basile stands in memorial to Redshirts fallen in the battle.
During the battle, by tradition Garibaldi said the historic sentence: “Qui, o si fa l’Italia o si muore!” ( Here we create Italy, or we die!).
Calatafimi Segesta boasts not only the peaceful archaeological park and the historic Ossuary of Pianto Romano, but also an area of narrow twisting streets recently enhanced and embellished by the town hall to promote both its historic centre and the importance of tradition. Thereby alleys, courtyards, stairways, stone walls and arcs, most of them damaged by the earthquake in 1968, have become a renovated part of the historic heritage in Calatafimi Segesta since 2000.
In projecting these Medieval Alleys, experts have given prominence especially to the strong link between the village and tradition, so that visitors can enjoy a special travel back in the memory of this enchanting village.
Typical decorations and details have inspired Marco Vitale’ s book: “Vicolo dei Proverbi” . It offers an original point of view on great subjects of local folklore and Garibaldi’s heroic deeds.
Most of them reproduce also history and symbols lied to the traditional Ceti , the major ancient families of Calatafimi. In particular they represent images of the folkloristic Feast of Holy Crucifix in which people from the village take part with proud spirit in organizing and sharing mutual historic memory.
This picturesque town boasts a host of beautiful churches: Holy Crucifix Church (designed by architect Giovanni Biagio Amico) Carmine Church, St. Michele Church, Saint Giuliano Church, the Church of Madonna del Soccorso and the Church of the Holy Trinity . All of them have an interesting value in architecture with their marble statues following the school of celebre sculptor Antonello Gagini and a lot of considerable neoclassical fresco paintings.
Last but not least, Calatafimi Segesta offers you the opportunity of a special visit in the Archaeological.