Fondachelli-Fantina is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Messina, Sicily, southern Italy. Situated between Novara and Francavilla di Sicilia, in the southern Peloritani mountains, it rises on an inland area and is 604 metres (1,982 ft) above sea level, around the bed of the Patrì river, the mythical Longanus river of the ancient times that arises in the valley. The community also borders the municipalities of Antillo and Rodì Milici. The main mountains of his valley are Montagna Grande, Rocca Salvatesta, Montagna di Vernà, Pizzo Russa, Rocche di Durante and Pizzo Vento that form also an astronomic calendar where is possible to observe the equinox.[1] It is composed by more than 15 little villages spread on the slopes of Peloritani mountains along the Patrì river whose the most populated are Rubino, Evangelisti, Chiesa, Figheri and Fantina. It is 81 km from Catania, 87 kilometres (54 mi) from Messina, 129 kilometres (80 mi) from Syracuse, and 235 kilometres (146 mi) from Palermo.

La vallata di Fondachelli Fantina, Sicily
the Fondachelli Fantina Valley around the Patrì creek.
Gola del torrente Patrì nei pressi di Fondachelli Fantina, Sicilia
The Giants' Gorge of the Patrì creek in Fondachelli-Fantina.

Developed from a number of rural hamlets in the territory of Novara di Sicilia, the collective community attained autonomous status in 1950 and called itself Fondachelli-Fantina, a name derived from Fondaci (Arabic funduq : "stores" or "warehouses") and Fantinia (Latin infans: "child"). It is historically important as one of the last Sicilian municipalities where Gallo-Sicilian survives as a spoken dialect making the town a linguistic island.

Comune di Fondachelli-Fantina
sight of Fondachelli Fantina under the Rocca di Salvatesta
sight of Fondachelli Fantina under the Rocca di Salvatesta
Location of Fondachelli-Fantina
Fondachelli-Fantina is located in Italy
Location of Fondachelli-Fantina in Italy
Fondachelli-Fantina is located in Sicily
Fondachelli-Fantina (Sicily)
Coordinates: 37°59′N 15°10′E / 37.983°N 15.167°ECoordinates: 37°59′N 15°10′E / 37.983°N 15.167°E
Metropolitan cityMessina (ME)
 • MayorFrancesco Pettinato
 • Total41.0 km2 (15.8 sq mi)
604 m (1,982 ft)
(30 November 2011)
 • Total1,117
 • Density27/km2 (71/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Fondachellesi or fantinesi
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0941
WebsiteOfficial website


The area now known as Fondachelli-Fantina always has been quite isolated. Even today, the long, winding road connecting the municipality to the Ionian coast can become impassable during the winter. However, this insularity has aided in preserving the Gallo-Sicilian language, a remnant of the period during the Swabian-Norman domination (1061–1266) when people from Northern Italy migrated to the area.

The town passed into the hands of the Palizzi family, who held it until 1353, when the Gioiemi of Novara took possession. Between 1720 and 1880, the territory endured heavy mining activity. The 26 scattered mines used a great quantity of lumber, destabilized the land and degraded the mountains. Additionally, continuous flooding had devastating consequences. Major floods in 1880, 1951, 1958 and 1973 continued the territorial degradation.

However, administrative autonomy from Novara di Sicilia on 20 June 1950 gave Fondachelli-Fantina legislative powers and control of public works as well as financial means to begin reforestation efforts and build roads, houses and aqueducts.


As of March 2009, the population of Fondachelli-Fantina was 1,234 with a density of 30 inhabitants per square kilometer. Its economy is based primarily on livestock breeding (cattle, pigs, goats and sheep) and the cultivation of grains, dried fruit, wine grapes and wood, the Maiorchino is the cheese most famous produced in the zone. On 22 June and the second Friday of July each year, the town hosts cattle fairs which are attended by exhibitors from other communities.

The town has four schools: one pre-school, two primary schools, and one secondary school. Community churches (Messina diocese) include S. Maria della Provvidenza and Santi Angeli Custodi ES Giuseppi. The community celebrates 3 unique feast days: the Feast of the Patron of the town Santissimi Angeli Custodi on the second Sunday of July,[2] the feast of Saint Joseph the first Sunday after mid August and the Feast of Madonna della Provvidenza (Our Lady of Providence) on 8 September.

The War Memorial ("Monument to the Fallen") is in the town centre on the Piazza santissimi Angeli Custodi, where social and sporting events are held. The Monument to Padre Pio is on via XX Giugno 1950.


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Antillo (Sicilian: Antiddu) is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located about 170 kilometres (110 mi) east of Palermo and about 35 kilometres (22 mi) southwest of Messina.

Antillo borders the following municipalities: Casalvecchio Siculo, Castroreale, Fondachelli-Fantina, Francavilla di Sicilia, Graniti, Limina, Mongiuffi Melia, Motta Camastra, Roccafiorita, Rodì Milici.

First Point of Aries

The First Point of Aries, also known as the Cusp of Aries, is the location of the vernal equinox, used as a reference point in celestial coordinate systems; in diagrams using such coordinate systems, it is often indicated with the symbol ♈︎. Named for the constellation of Aries, it is one of the two points on the celestial sphere at which the celestial equator crosses the ecliptic, the other being the First Point of Libra, located exactly 180° from it. Due to precession of the equinoxes, currently, the position of the Sun on the March equinox is in Pisces, while that on the September equinox is in Virgo (as of J2000).

Along its yearly path through the zodiac, the Sun meets the celestial equator from south to north at the First Point of Aries, and from north to south at the First Point of Libra. The First Point of Aries is considered to be the celestial "prime meridian" from which right ascension is calculated.

Francavilla di Sicilia

Francavilla di Sicilia (Sicilian: Francavigghia) is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Messina on the island of Sicily, southern Italy.

It has a population of about 3,900 people and is situated in the southern part of the province, close to the northern slopes of Mount Etna. The distance to Messina is about 50 kilometres (31 mi), and the town is about 70 kilometres (43 mi) from Catania airport, in the valley of the River Alcantara between Taormina and Randazzo. Taormina and the Mediterranean Sea are about 15 kilometres (9 mi) to the southeast.

Neighboring towns and villages include: Antillo, Castiglione di Sicilia, Fondachelli-Fantina, Malvagna, Montalbano Elicona, Motta Camastra, Novara di Sicilia and Tripi.

Gallo-Italic of Sicily

Gallo-Italic of Sicily (Italian: Gallo-italico di Sicilia) is a group of Gallo-Italic languages found in about 15 isolated communities of central eastern Sicily. Forming a language island in the otherwise Sicilian language area, it dates back to migrations from northern Italy during the reign of Norman Roger I of Sicily and his successors.

Towns inhabited by the new immigrants became known as the "Lombard communities" (Latin: oppida Lombardorum, Sicilian: cumuna lummardi). The settlers, known as the Lombards of Sicily, actually came principally from the Aleramici fiefdoms of Piedmont and Liguria, "Lombardy" being the name for the whole of northern Italy during the Middle Ages. In addition to a common place of origin, the colonizers brought their Gallo-Italic languages. These languages added to the Gallic influence of the developing Sicilian language (influences which included Norman and Old Occitan) to become the Gallo-Italic of Sicily language family.

List of communes of the Province of Messina

The following is a list of the 108 comuni of the Province of Messina, Sicily, in Italy.


The Longanus (also Longanos or Loitanus) was a river in north-eastern Sicily on the Mylaean plain. As recorded by Polybius, it was where the Mamertines were drastically defeated by Hiero II of Syracuse in around 269 BC. The small settlement of Longane was near it. The river was considered so important that it was represented as a God in coins. Some archeologists identify it with the river that arises in the valley of Fondachelli-Fantina town called Patrì or Fantina.

Metropolitan City of Messina

The Metropolitan City of Messina (Italian: Città metropolitana di Messina) is a metropolitan city in Sicily, Italy. Its capital is the city of Messina. It replaced the Province of Messina and comprises the city of Messina and other 107 municipalities (comuni). According to Eurostat the FUA of the metropolitan area of Messina had in 2014 277,584 inhabitants.

Milici, Italy

Milici is a village in the Province of Messina of Sicily, Italy.

Mount Helicon

Mount Helicon (Ancient Greek: Ἑλικών; Greek: Ελικώνας) is a mountain in the region of Thespiai in Boeotia, Greece, celebrated in Greek mythology. With an altitude of 1,749 metres (5,738 ft), it is located approximately 10 kilometres (6 mi) from the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth. Some researchers maintain that Helicon was also the Greek name of mount Rocca Salvatesta in Sicily as a river started from it was called also Helikon.

Novara di Sicilia

Novara di Sicilia (Gallo-Italic of Sicily: Nuè; Sicilian: Nuvara) is a comune (municipality) in the Metropolitan City of Messina in the Italian region of Sicily, located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) east of Palermo and some 40 kilometres (25 mi) southwest of Messina.

Novara di Sicilia borders the following municipalities: Fondachelli-Fantina, Francavilla di Sicilia, Mazzarrà Sant'Andrea, Rodì Milici, Tripi.

Our Lady of Providence (disambiguation)

Our Lady of Providence is a Roman Catholic devotion to Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Our Lady of Providence may also refer to:

Our Lady of Divine Providence School, Metairie, Louisiana

Our Lady of Providence Elementary School, Ontario

Our Lady of Providence Junior-Senior High School, Clarksville, Indiana

Our Lady of Providence Seminary College, Warwick, Rhode Island

The Feast of Madonna della Provvidenza (Our Lady of Providence), held on September 8 in Fondachelli-Fantina, Italy


The Peloritani (Sicilian: Piluritani, Italian: Monti Peloritani) are a mountain range of north-eastern Sicily, in southern Italy, extending for some 65 km from Capo Peloro to the Nebrodi Mountains. On the north and east they are bordered by the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas, respectively, and on the south by the Alcantara River .

The highest peaks are the Montagna Grande (1,374 m), the Rocca di Novara (1,340 m), the Pizzo di Vernà (1287 m), the Monte Poverello (1279 m) and the Monte Scuderi (1253 m). The range is made up of a long series of peaks, with an average height of 800–1,000 m, intermingled with ridges and ravines. The deep gorges house numerous streams that create the typical rivers of this land called Fiumare, often full of deprises in their inferior flow. The most common rocks are of igneous and metamorphic origin. Sandstone soils are also present. Of unusual origin are the megaliths rocks of the Argimusco plateau.

Vegetation includes holm oak, oak, cork oak, beech, pine and chestnut, which once formed large forests but are now, mostly due to the human presence, reduced to sparse woods, so that the landscape is largely steppe-like. Several pine woods have been reconstituted by the local authorities starting from the 1950s.

An ancient path named Dorsale dei Peloritani goes through all its ridge line starting from Monte Dinnammare above the Strait of Messina until the Rocca di Novara.

Pizzo di Vernà

Pizzo di Vernà (also known as Montagna di Vernà, Pizzo Polo, Muntagna i Po) (1287 m) is a peak of the Peloritani Mountains, located in the province of Messina, Sicily. It is located in the South Western part of the Peloritani range in the territories of Antillo, Casalvecchio Siculo and Fondachelli-Fantina.

It is a difficult peak to climb because of the typical Mediterranean vegetation on its slopes, unless you take the path on the East wall. It is visited for its stunning landscape: from the top it’s possible to view Mount Etna, mount Rocca di Salvatesta, the Ionian coast and the Tyrrhenian coast. From Fondachelli-Fantina it is possible to see the Montagna di Vernà shining in the afternoon, lit by the sun. The mountain has been designated a Site of Community Importance (SIC).

Province of Messina

Messina (Italian: Provincia di Messina; Sicilian: Pruvincia di Missina) was a province in the autonomous island region of Sicily in Italy. Its capital was the city of Messina. It was replaced by the Metropolitan City of Messina.

Rocca di Novara

The Rocca di Novara (also called “Rocca di Salvatesta” and “Cervino di Sicilia”) is a peak in the Peloritani mountains, situated in the northeastern part of Sicily, between the territories of Novara di Sicilia and Fondachelli-Fantina from where trails start to its top. It has an elevation of 1,340 meters above sea level. It resembles a Dolomites peak and because of this and the panoramic view from its summit it is a popular mountain with tourists. A summit cross with a figure of Jesus lies at its top. An annual pilgrimage to the summit is made by Christians on 18 August to celebrate a mass. Pits used by ancient people to collect snow for the summer remain on its slopes.

The walls of the mountain resemble a human face from a particular point of view and the ancient legend of buried treasure on it, discoverable by those who pass a series of trials, gives it an air of mystery. The mountain has been granted Site of Community Importance status.

Rodì Milici

Rodì Milici (Sicilian: Rudìa Milici) is an Italian comune in the Metropolitan City of Messina in Sicily. The comune is located about 160 kilometres (99 mi) east of Palermo and about 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Messina.

Rodì Milici borders the following municipalities: Antillo, Castroreale, Fondachelli-Fantina, Mazzarrà Sant'Andrea, Novara di Sicilia, Terme Vigliatore.


Speleology is the scientific study of caves and other karst features, as well as their make-up, structure, physical properties, history, life forms, and the processes by which they form (speleogenesis) and change over time (speleomorphology). The term speleology is also sometimes applied to the recreational activity of exploring caves, but this is more properly known as caving or potholing, or (not usually by participants) by the uncommon American term spelunking. Speleology and caving are often connected, as the physical skills required for in situ study are the same.

Speleology is a cross-disciplinary field that combines the knowledge of chemistry, biology, geology, physics, meteorology, and cartography to develop portraits of caves as complex, evolving systems.

Spring (season)

Spring is one of the four conventional temperate seasons, following winter and preceding summer. There are various technical definitions of spring, but local usage of the term varies according to local climate, cultures and customs. When it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere, it is autumn in the Southern Hemisphere and vice versa. At the spring (or vernal) equinox, days and nights are approximately twelve hours long, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses.

Spring and "springtime" refer to the season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Subtropical and tropical areas have climates better described in terms of other seasons, e.g. dry or wet, monsoonal or cyclonic. Cultures may have local names for seasons which have little equivalence to the terms originating in Europe.

Wayside shrine

A wayside shrine is a religious image, usually in some sort of small shelter, placed by a road or pathway, sometimes in a settlement or at a crossroads, but often in the middle of an empty stretch of country road, or at the top of a hill or mountain. They have been a feature of many cultures, including Catholic and Orthodox Europe and Shinto Japan.

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