San Gregorio di Catania is a city
of about 10,000 located 321 m a.s.l. It is a major agricultural
producer of cereals, cheese, walnuts, olives, almonds, honey, grape,
wine and flowers. It was named after Pope San Gregorio, whose mother
was of Sicilian origin.
The existence of ancient human settlements
in the area is testified by grottos once inhabited. The Chiesa dell’Immacolata
is a remnant of the Norman age. The earliest human settlement was
one of the so-called “Hamlets of Catania”, and belonged
in the 17th century to the noble Massas, the Dukes of Paternò.
It then passed to Catania and Aci Castello governments. It became
autonomous in 1856.
The Baroque Mother Church, the church
of S. Filippo d’Argirò – built in 1505 by Lord
Alvaro Paternò as his family chapel – and the Norman
Church of the Immaculate Conception, restructured through the centuries,
are the most impressive buildings in town.