Gibellina is emblematic of the devastating earthquake of 1968 that struck the entire Valle di Belice with destructive fury. It is a unique, visionary project that has involved the reconstruction of the village, 18 kilometres from its original location, after it was completely destroyed in the earthquake. Several internationally renowned artists, such as Mimmo Paladino and Pietro Consagra, worked on the project, making Gibellina what it is today: a vast open-air museum of contemporary art. The artists designed it as an “ideal city”, a space of collective memory and symbol of rebirth and hope, and numerous projects have been incorporated into in the urban fabric.
The Fondazione Orestiadi in Baglio di Stefano is an oasis of culture, making summer evenings unforgettable with its superb international theatre season. Mimmo Paladino’s famous and iconic work Montagna di Sale can be found here, and it is also worth stopping by the Museo delle Trame Mediterranee (Museum of Mediterranean Textures) with its stimulating and eclectic collection that combines red threads of Mediterranean culture, both on a conceptual and material level.
The town of Gibellina is surrounded by a lush wooded area with a picnic area on Monte Finestrelle. This mountain also features an outstanding archaeological site of great historical importance. A settlement and burial ground have been found on the summit, dating from the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (late 2nd to early 1st millennium BC). The burial ground consists of about forty graves carved into the rock and furnished with small windows, giving the northern slope of the mountain an unusual indented appearance.
In place of the ancient, destroyed Gibellina, you can now admire the monumental Cretto by Alberto Burri, one of the most celebrated Italian artists in the world. Burri covered the rubble of the village with massive blocks of white concrete, like a huge shroud covering the lifeless village. It is one of the largest works of land art in the world and when you see it, you cannot fail to be moved.
Not to be missed
- THE ‘MAC’ - Museum of Contemporary Art
- THE “GRANDE CRETTO” BY ENRICO BURRI
- THE STAR BY PIETRO CONSAGRA – GIBELLINA GATE
Il tramonto di Trapani
Other ideas for your trip
- Not to be missed
- Towns and Villages