S. Anastasia is a city of nearly 10,000 standing at some 275m a.s.l
on the Southern slopes of the Etna volcano
Greek relics found at the Ardizzone area, going back to the 5th-4th
BC, testify to its remote roots. A 5th century BC Greek necropolis
and Roman coins and mosaic were successively discovered.
the early 1500 it was a feudal estate, belonged to Antonio Moncada,
Count of Adernò. During the 18th and 19th century it saw
a remarkable urban growth; in 1820, it finally became an autonomous
municipality. According to some, its two names, Motta and Anastasia,
are respectively of pre-Roman and Greek-Byzantine origin and have
the same meaning referring to the place where the town lies.
S. Anastasia has a charming medieval design developing around the
Castle, the Mother Church and the Church of the Immaculate. Along
with a section of the outer walls, they are all that remains of
the ancient city.
Norman castle, built at Roger I’s behest in 1070, has an imposing
rectangular tower, about 21m tall, covered with a battled terrace,
and is divided into three levels, two of which respectively reserved
for the troops and the officials. The castle successively belonged
to the Catania Bishop, the Count of Aidone Enrico il Rosso, Rinaldo
Perollo, King Alfonso of Aragon, the Count of Adernò Antonio
Moncada. The Motta Municipality finally bought it in the early 1900.
1200’s Mother Church was enlarged and partly refurbished in
the 15th ad 16th centuries. It is dedicated to Santa Maria del Rosario
and is particularly renowned for its altarpiece, a painting and
a 1500’s Crucifix. Outside, it features a fine bell-tower
in the 1700’s style.
Chiesa dell’Immacolata (or Chiesa del Santissimo Sacramento)
also contains important works such as an image of the Immaculate
Conception, 1600’s and 1700’s paintings and a half-bust
of St. Agatha within a niche decorated with frescoes.
final mention must go to the Chiesa di Sant’Antonio da Padova,
preserving a relic of the Saint and precious stained glass mosaics.