The Arab-Norman castle dominates the monumental landscape of Salemi and is an exceptional example of medieval architecture in the west of Sicily.
A first fortification was built in the Norman period, in the 11th century, but the structure was rebuilt by Frederick II of Swabia in the 13th century and played an important role in the fortification strategy of this ruler.
The castle has a trapezoidal plan with a rectangular courtyard, three corner towers and a fourth taller and more imposing cylindrical tower that guarded the valley below towards the south-western coast of Sicily.
Some of the wall structures, which are partially extant, formed part of the city wall circuit. The only remaining traces of its gates are in place names, such as the nearby Via Porta Gibli.
In 1860, when Salemi was symbolically declared the first capital of Italy for a day, Giuseppe Garibaldi raised the tricolour flag on this tower. The castle is now used for conventions and conferences and is located in what is now Piazza Alicia, the highest and one of the most attractive spots in the town.
Piazza Alicia, 13
Other ideas for your trip
- Not to be missed
- Castles and Historic Buildings