Coordinates: 37°46′N 14°21′E / 37.767°N 14.350°E / 37.767; 14.350
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Comune di Sperlinga
Location of Sperlinga
Sperlinga is located in Italy
Location of Sperlinga in Italy
Sperlinga is located in Sicily
Sperlinga (Sicily)
Coordinates: 37°46′N 14°21′E / 37.767°N 14.350°E / 37.767; 14.350
ProvinceEnna (EN)
 • MayorSaverio di Marco
 • Total58 km2 (22 sq mi)
750 m (2,460 ft)
 • Total819
 • Density14/km2 (37/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0935
Patron saintJohn the Baptist
Saint day24 June

Sperlinga is a comune in the province of Enna, in the central part of Sicily. Sperlinga is about 750 m above sea level. It is on a hill on the southern slopes of the Nebrodi mountains,[3] about 47 km north of Enna. It has a number of dwellings.[3] The village has a large medieval castle, dating from Norman times.

In 2014 the population was 819 people.[4] The main activity in the area is farming.

History[change | change source]

The village is first mentioned (as "Sperlingua") in a document belonging to the Norman Count Roger from 1082.[5]: 542  The castle is first mentioned in 1113.[6]

It is believed that Sperlinga did not take part in the Sicilian Vespers, the bloody uprising against the Angevin French rulers of Sicily in 1282. The village may have offered them protection. There was an inscription over a door in the castle which read quod Siculis placuit sola Sperlinga negavit,[6], meaning "what pleased the Sicilians, only Sperlinga denied".

From about 1360 Sperlinga was ruled by the Ventimiglia family.[5]: 542  In 1597 it was sold for 30,834 ounces of gold to Giovanni Natoli. [5]: 542  Natoli was granted a licentia populandi or "licence to populate" by the king of Sicily, Philip II of Spain,[6] and was made Prince of Sperlinga in 1627.[5]: 542  His son Francesco sold Sperlinga in 1656 to Giovanni Stefano Oneto, but kept the princely title. Oneto was made Duke of Sperlinga in 1666 by Charles II of Spain.[5]: 542 

During the Allied invasion of Sicily, in the Second World War, Allied forces moved past Sperlinga to envelop Nicosia, a few kilometres to the south. They met strong resistance. After a show of force by American tanks, the Axis forces withdrew from Sperlinga and Nicosia during the night of 27 July 1943. Units of the American 16th Infantry Regiment entered Sperlinga the next morning.[7]

Gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Sperlinga (in Italian). Enciclopedie on line. Rome: Istituto dell'Enciclopedia Italiana. Accessed October 2015.
  4. Bilancio demografico anno 2014 e popolazione residente al 31 dicembre: Comune: Sperlinga (in Italian). Rome: ISTAT. Accessed October 2015.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Vito Maria Amico, Gioacchino Di Marzo (translator) (1858). Dizionario topografico della Sicilia (in Italian). Palermo: Pietro Morvillo.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Nicola Leone (2010). Siculo-Norman art Islamic culture in medieval Sicily. Vienna: Museum With No Frontiers (Museum Ohne Grenzen). ISBN 9783902782052. (unpaginated).
  7. Garland and Smith, "Chapter XVI The Drive to the East", Sicily and the Surrender of Italy, US Army in World War II, p. 314

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Media related to Sperlinga at Wikimedia Commons