Ciminna is a town in the province of Palermo located at some 530m height near a hump south of the Pizzo Sant’Anania. It totals about 4,500 inhabitants.
Relics discovered across its territory provide evidence for human settlements from the Punic and Roman ages. A remarkable expansion was recorded in the Norman period, notably the area of the castle of which little has remained. During the Middle Ages it became notorious for having hosted Matteo Scaflani, the leader of the Catalan faction adversing Manfredi Chiaramontea. In the first half of the 1600s, it was elevated to Dukedom and ruled by several noble families like the Ventimiglias and the Griffeos of the Princes of Partanna.
The town is dotted with naturalistic riches such as the Serre di Ciminnà district, with interesting chalky areas stretching between Pizzo Avvoltoio and Pizzo Serre, largely inhabited by birds of prey.
Ciminna boasts an old farming tradition, today especially celebrated in the Town Museum that offers a complete picture of old customs through a rich display of farming and breeding tools.
The town’s Chiesa Madre dedicated to Santa Maria Maddalena dates back to the Middle Ages, although it was extensively remodelled and even rebuilt in the 1500’s and in later epochs. A gothic rose-window in the façade and a 1500’s bell-tower are the only remains of the old buildings. Inside, it is divided into nave and aisles embellished by numerous pieces of art, such as 1600’s stucco statues by Li Volsi, a carved wooden choirstall, a 1600’s statue of the Virgin and a 1700’s statue of St. Andrew.
The Chiesa di San Francesco preserves a precious marble polyptych in the Gagini-style, a statue representing the Madonna and Child and a 1500’s Crucifix partially made of papier-mâché.
The 1600’s Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista is the second largest church in town after the Mother Church. It contains some works of art among which is a 1500’s tryptich representing the Madonna dell’Udienza.
Among the minor churches a mention must go to Santa Lucia and San Domenicocontaining two works by Antonello Gagini, the 1500’s statue dedicated to the Virgin and a ciborium.