is a town and comune
In Italy, the comune is the basic administrative division, and may be properly approximated in casual speech by the English word township or municipality.-Importance and function:...
in the Province of Catania
Catania is a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital is the city of Catania.It has an area of 3,552 km², and a total population of 1,073,881 . There are 58 comunes in the province, see Comunes of the Province of Catania...
Sicily is a region of Italy, and is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Along with the surrounding minor islands, it constitutes an autonomous region of Italy, the Regione Autonoma Siciliana Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature,...
, southern Italy
Italy , officially the Italian Republic languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Italy's official name is as follows:;;;;;;;;), is a unitary parliamentary republic in South-Central Europe. To the north it borders France, Switzerland, Austria and...
The site of Paternò was settled before 3500 BCE. Its inhabitants were probably the Sicani
The Sicani or Sicanians were one of three ancient peoples of Sicily present at the time of Phoenician and Greek colonization.-History:The Sicani are thought to be the oldest inhabitants of Sicily with a recorded name...
, although it was located in mainly Sicel territory; its initial name was Inessa
. The modern name derives form the Greek Paeter Aitnaion
, meaning the "Fortress of the Etnaeans
Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, close to Messina and Catania. It is the tallest active volcano in Europe, currently standing high, though this varies with summit eruptions; the mountain is 21 m higher than it was in 1981.. It is the highest mountain in...
". The presence of another town, called Hybla Mayor
, is attested north west to the current town.
A mid-importance centre in the Greek and Roman
Ancient Rome was a thriving civilization that grew on the Italian Peninsula as early as the 8th century BC. Located along the Mediterranean Sea and centered on the city of Rome, it expanded to one of the largest empires in the ancient world....
eras, it got nearly depopulated in the three centuries before 1000 AD; during the Arab domination of Sicily it was known as Batarnù
. After the Norman
The Italo-Normans, or Siculo-Normans when referring to Sicily, were the Italian-born descendants of the first Norman conquerors to travel to the southern Italy in the first half of the eleventh century...
conquest in the 1040s, it was rechristened Paternionis
and began a period of flourishement. King Frederick III of Sicily
Frederick II was the regent and subsequently King of Sicily from 1295 until his death. He was the third son of Peter III of Aragon and served in the War of the Sicilian Vespers on behalf of his father and brothers, Alfonso and James...
created here the Camera Reginale
("Queen's Chamber") as a wedding gift for his wife Eleanor of Anjou
Eleanor of Naples was the Queen consort of Frederick III of Sicily. She was a member of the Capetian House of Anjou by birth.-Family:She was the third daughter of Charles II of Naples and Mary of Hungary....
, and which was inherited by the subsequent Queens of Sicily. The period of splendour for Paternò lasted until the 15th century, when it became a fief and slowly lost of importance.
Historically, Paternò's area was plagued by malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...
, caused by the marshlands of the Plain of Catania
The Plain of Catania is the most extensive and most important plain in Sicily....
. This has since long been remedied, and the urban development of the town had a large acceleration in the 1960s and 1970s.
- The Norman Castle
thumb|240px|The Castello Normanno.The Castello Normanno is a castle in Paternò, Sicily, southern Italy.-History:The castle was built in 1072 by Count Roger I of Sicily to protect the Simeto valley from Islamic raids. The first nucleus of the fortress was soon enlarged, and it subsequently lost its...
, built in 1072 by order of Roger I of Sicily
Roger I , called Bosso and the Great Count, was the Norman Count of Sicily from 1071 to 1101. He was the last great leader of the Norman conquest of southern Italy.-Conquest of Calabria and Sicily:...
- Mother Church (Chiesa Madre di Santa Maria dell'Alto), built in 1342 and largely modified in the early 18th century. It is connected by a scenic staircase to the Porta del Borgo
- San Francesco alla Collina (1346), with a church in Gothic style and remains of Baroque decorations.
- Roccoco church of San Martino al Monte.
- Santa Maria della Valle di Iosaphat, commissioned in 1072 by Adelaide del Vasto
Adelaide del Vasto was the third wife of Roger I of Sicily and mother of Roger II of Sicily, as well as Queen consort of Jerusalem due to her later marriage to Baldwin I of Jerusalem, as his third wife.-Family:She was the daughter of Manfred del Vasto Adelaide del Vasto (Adelasia, Azalaïs) (c....
, with a precious Gothic portal.
- Associazione Culturale Paternesi.com, a cultural association born in November 2001, from an idea of Giorgio Ciancitto, to take care of the city of Paternò around the world.