Sciacca (Italian: [ˈʃakka]; Greek: Θέρμαι; Latin: Thermae Selinuntinae, Thermae Selinuntiae, Thermae, Aquae Labrodes and Aquae Labodes), is a town and comune in the province of Agrigento on the southwestern coast of Sicily, southern Italy. It has views of the Mediterranean Sea.

Comune di Sciacca
Skyline of Sciacca
Coat of arms of Sciacca

Coat of arms
Location of Sciacca
Sciacca is located in Italy
Location of Sciacca in Italy
Sciacca is located in Sicily
Sciacca (Sicily)
Coordinates: 37°30′33″N 13°5′20″E / 37.50917°N 13.08889°E
ProvinceAgrigento (AG)
 • MayorFrancesca Valenti
 • Total191.67 km2 (74.00 sq mi)
60 m (200 ft)
 • Total40,488
 • Density210/km2 (550/sq mi)
Demonym(s)Saccensi, Sciacchitani
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0925
Patron saintHoly Mary of Soccorso
Saint day2 February
WebsiteOfficial website


Thermae was founded in the 5th century BC by the Greeks, as its name imports, as a thermal spa for Selinunte, whose citizens came there to bathe in the sulphurous springs of Mount San Calogero, which rises up behind the town. We have no account of the existence of a town on the site during the period of the independence of Selinunte, though there is little doubt that the thermal waters would always have attracted some population to the spot. Nor even under the Romans did the place attain to anything like the same importance with the northern Thermae; and there is little doubt that Pliny is mistaken in assigning the rank of a colonia to the southern instead of the northern town of the name. Strabo mentions the waters (τὰ ὕδατα τὰ Σελινούντια[3]); and they are again noticed in the Itineraries under the name of Aquae Labodes or Labrodes.[4]

The origins of the town's name have been much debated, with Latin "ex acqua", as a reference to the springs of thermal water of the area, or Arabic "Syac", meaning bath, and al Saqquah, dating back to the cult of the Syrian god "Shai al Quaaum", as possibilities.

The city walls, the bastions and the Old Castle owe their existence to Roger the Great Count.

A royal city which had remained faithful to Manfred of Sicily during the Angevine invasion, by 1268 A.D. it was besieged by Charles I of Anjou and surrendered the following year. After the Sicilian Vespers, it established itself as a free commune. During the Aragonese-Angevine wars it was besieged numerous times, after which the Peralta family took possession of it and obtained by the king of Sicily the right to mint coins. In the following centuries the town was at the center of bloody feuds between rival baronial families (the Luna, of Aragonese origin, and the Perollo, of Norman stock), which nearly halved its population. In 1647 the impoverished town was the seat of an anti-Spanish rebellion.

During World War II the Italian Regia Aeronautica (Royal Air Force) had a base near Sciacca.



The municipality borders Caltabellotta, Menfi, Ribera and Sambuca di Sicilia.[5]


Main sights

Sciacca still retains much of its medieval layout, which divided the town into quarters, each laid out on a strip of rock descending toward the sea. Sciacca has several points of interest, including:

  • the Cathedral of Maria SS. del Soccorso (12th century, rebuilt in 1685)
  • the Castle of the Counts Luna. Of the Old Castle scarce remains can be still seen.
  • church of Santa Margherita
  • Chiesa del Carmine
  • Church of San Michele (1371, rebuilt in the 17th century)
  • Church of Santa Maria delle Giummare
  • Palazzo Steripinto
  • Palazzo Tagliavia (11th century), in Neo-Gothic style
  • Palazzo Perollo (15th century)


Sciacca's festivals include the Carnival, celebrated during the week before the beginning of Lent (February). The highlight of the festival is the parade of bizarre figures mounted on floats, famous throughout Sicily for their gaudy expressions. Sciacca is also the hometown of the Mediterranean Scene.

Starting near the turn of the 20th century, a number of residents of the Sciacca area emigrated to the North End of Boston, Mass., where, starting in 1910, around August 15, their descendants, especially those from fishing families, have celebrated the Festival of the Madonna del Soccorso .


The economy of Sciacca is mainly based on agriculture, fishing and related food processing industry and tourism.

Sister cities


  • Luigi Pirandello, born in Agrigento, Sicily, 28 June 1867, and who died in Rome 10 December 1936, was an Italian dramatist, novelist, poet and short story writer. He was awarded the 1934 Nobel Prize in Literature. Pirandello's works include novels, hundreds of short stories, and about 40 plays, some of which are written in Sicilian.
  • Tommaso Fazello, was born in Sciacca. Authored the first printed history of Sicily De Rebus Siculis Decades Duae, published in Palermo in 1558
  • Giovanni Antonio Medrano, one of the architects who designed the San Carlo opera house in Naples in 1737, was born in Sciacca
  • Baroque liturgical composer Cataldo Amodei was born at Sciacca around 1650
  • American baseball player Mike Piazza's family origins are in Sciacca
  • Johnny Dundee, world featherweight and Super featherweight champion of the 1920s, was born in Sciacca and later emigrated to America
  • Giuseppe Mario Bellanca, the airplane designer and builder who created the first monoplane in the United States with an enclosed cabin, was born in Sciacca
  • The Costa family, who ran many American underground facilities during the 1920s, have origins in Sciacca
  • American musician and educator Richard Termini's grandfather came from Sciacca.
  • Giacomo Puleo, Italian Politician
  • The parents of American cartoonist Joseph Barbera (of Hanna-Barbera fame) were born in Sciacca
  • American musician Jon Bon Jovi is descended from emigrants from Sciacca
  • American singer Alicia Keys is descended from emigrants from Sciacca
  • World renowned Chef Michael Cirafesi , Executive Chef /Owner of OMBRA Cucina Italiana in Hilton Head Island, SC.
  • American humorist Troy Sciacca's ancestors came from Sciacca


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Strabo, vi. p. 275
  4. ^ Itin. Ant. p. 89; Tabula Peutingeriana
  5. ^ 39255 Sciacca on OpenStreetMap

External links

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August Bellanca

August Bellanca (1880–1969) was an American labor activist who was a founder and three-time vice president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America (ACWA). The ACWA was formed as an offshoot of United Garment Workers and was the result of tensions between the national union and urban locals. Bellanca served as vice president at intervals over a period of fifty years, from 1916-1934, 1946-1948 and also from 1952-1966.

Con Sciacca

Concetto Antonio Sciacca (13 June 1947 – 21 June 2017) was an Australian politician of the Australian Labor Party and member of the Australian House of Representatives from July 1987 to March 1996 and again from October 1998 to October 2004, representing the Division of Bowman, Queensland.

Division of Bowman

The Division of Bowman is an Australian Electoral Division in Queensland. The division was created in 1949 and is named for David Bowman, an early leader of the Australian Labor Party, in Queensland. The seat consists of the entirety of Redland City, located in the eastern suburbs of Brisbane, and includes the suburbs of Capalaba, Cleveland, Redland Bay, Birkdale, Thorneside, Alexandra Hills, Thornlands, Mount Cotton, Ormiston, Wellington Point and Victoria Point. The division also incorporates various islands of Moreton Bay including Coochiemudlo Island, the inhabited southern Bay Islands (Russell, Karragarra, Macleay and Lamb) and the big tourist destination of North Stradbroke Island.

It is generally a residential electorate with some crops, poultry, various light industries and tourism.

Bowman has traditionally been a highly marginal seat, regularly changing hands between the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party. Notably, the electorate has been won by the party with the largest national two party preferred vote at every election from 1954 to 2001 (except 1990). However, in the 2004 election, an energetic campaign by Dr Andrew Laming, and an electoral redistribution (due to the creation of the new Division of Bonner, leading veteran Bowman MP Con Sciacca to contest this new seat), saw Bowman returned to the Liberal Party by a significant margin (59.12% 2PP). The division was then considered by pollsters such as Antony Green to be a fairly safe Liberal seat.In the 2007 election, the electorate experienced a strong swing of 8.86% towards the Australian Labor Party; the incumbent Laming held the seat by 0.04%, or 64 votes. This made it second only to McEwen as the most marginal seat in the country, although the 2009 electoral redistribution in Queensland saw the margin notionally reduced further, to effectively 0.005%, making Bowman Australia's most marginal seat at the time. Laming went on to retain the seat comfortably for the Liberal National Party of Queensland in: 2010, regaining ground with a 9.51% swing towards him; 2013, despite a 6.35% swing against him; and 2016, when all parties saw a positive swing in Bowman (for the first time since 1955), due to the absence of a Palmer United Party candidate.

Fabio Sciacca

Francesco Fabio Sciacca (born May 16, 1989 in Catania), known as Fabio Sciacca, is an Italian footballer who plays as a midfielder for ASD Sancataldese.

Gary Sciacca

Gary Sciacca (born March 10, 1960, in Brooklyn, New York) is an American horse trainer in the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing.

Sciacca earned his first win as a professional trainer on October 21, 1981 at New York's Aqueduct Racetrack. In 1992 he conditioned Saratoga Dew to American Champion Three-Year-Old Filly honors, the first New York-bred horse to win an Eclipse Award.

On November 18, 2008 Sciacca began serving a 120-day suspension order issued by the New York State Racing and Wagering Board. [1] for [2] Under the Trainers Responsibility Rule, the Board found him accountable for a milkshaking incident at his stable which occurred while he was on vacation. [3]

Gaspar DiGregorio

Gaspar or Gaspare DiGregorio (1905 – June 11, 1970) was a New York mobster and a high-ranking member of the Bonanno crime family who was a key figure in the "Banana War".

A caporegime in the Bonanno family, DiGregorio had aspirations of becoming consigliere. However, family boss Joseph "Joe Bananas" Bonanno made his son Salvatore "Bill" Bonanno consigliere, leaving hard feelings with DiGregorio. In 1964, fearful for his life, Joe Bonanno disappeared from New York. After a while, the New York Mafia Commission appointed DiGregorio as the new family boss. That decision was opposed by Joe's appointed successor Salvatore Bonanno and a war soon erupted within the Bonanno family. At one point, DiGregorio arranged a nighttime peace meeting with the Bonannos in a house in Brookyn. DiGregorio and his men arrived first; when the Bonannos arrived, DiGregorio's men started shooting. Miraculously, no one was hurt.

The so-called Bonanno War continued even with the brief return of Joseph Bonanno in 1966. Although DiGregorio was supported by Mafia Commission members such as Carlo Gambino, Tommy Lucchese, Joseph Colombo and Vito Genovese, they eventually became dissatisfied with DiGregorio's efforts at quelling the family rebellion. They eventually dropped DiGregorio and swung their support to Paul Sciacca. The war effectively ended in 1968 when Joe Bonanno suffered a heart attack and Sciacca became boss. DiGregorio was out in the cold and was permanently shelved. DiGregorio spent his final year living with his family in Long Island.

On June 11, 1970, Gaspar DiGregorio died of lung cancer at St. John's Episcopal Hospital in Smithtown, New York. He is buried in Saint Charles Cemetery in Farmingdale, New York.

Giacomo Sciacca

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Giuseppe Mario Bellanca

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Giuseppe Sciacca

Giuseppe Sciacca (born 23 February 1955) is the current Secretary of the Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura since his appointment by Pope Francis on July 16, 2016, replacing the retiring Archbishop Frans Daneels. Previously, he had served as Adjunct Secretary of the Apostolic Signatura, since Saturday, 24 August 2013. Previously, he had been serving as the Secretary General of the Governatorate of Vatican City State since his appointment by Benedict XVI on 3 September 2011.

Graham Island (Mediterranean Sea)

Graham Island (also Graham Bank or Graham Shoal; Italian: Isola Ferdinandea) is a submerged volcanic island in the Mediterranean Sea. It was discovered when it last appeared on 1 August 1831 by Humphrey Fleming Senhouse, the captain of the first rate Royal Navy ship of the line St Vincent and named after Sir James Graham, the First Lord of the Admiralty. It was claimed by the United Kingdom. It forms part of the underwater volcano Empedocles, 30 km (19 mi) south of Sicily, and which is one of a number of submarine volcanoes known as the Campi Flegrei del Mar di Sicilia. Seamount eruptions have raised it above sea level several times before erosion submerged it again.

When it last rose above sea level after erupting in 1831, a four-way dispute over its sovereignty began, which was still unresolved when it disappeared beneath the waves again in early 1832. During its brief life, French geologist Constant Prévost was on hand, accompanied by an artist, to witness it in July 1831; he named it Île Julia, for its July appearance, and reported in the Bulletin de la Société Géologique de France. Some observers at the time wondered if a chain of mountains would spring up, linking Sicily to Tunisia and thus upsetting the geopolitics of the region. It showed signs of volcanic activity in 2000 and 2002, forecasting a possible appearance; however, as of 2016 it remains 6 m (20 ft) under sea level.

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Luigi Barbesino

Luigi Barbesino (Italian pronunciation: [luˈiːdʒi barbeˈziːno]; 1 May 1894 – 20 April 1941) was an Italian association footballer and manager from Casale Monferrato in the region of Piedmont. A midfielder, he was a one club man in the truest sense of the term, spending his eight playing seasons at his home town club Casale, helping them to win their one and only Italian Football Championship title, and collecting 83 league appearances and 11 goals for the club between 1912 and 1920.

Barbesino also represented Italy at international level, and represented his country in football at the 1912 Summer Olympics. He is officially the fourth-youngest international player to ever appear for Italy, behind only Rodolfo Gavinelli, Renzo De Vecchi, and Gianluigi Donnarumma; he made his international debut on 1 July 1912, in a 1–0 away win over hosts Sweden at the Summer Olympics that year, at the age of 18 years and 2 months. In total, he collected five international appearances between 1912 and 1914, scoring once in a 1–0 friendly away win over Switzerland on 17 May 1914, which was his final international appearance. He later coached Roma between 1934 and 1938.

When World War II began, Barbesino abandoned football to serve as a Major observer in the Regia Aeronautica, flying in Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 trimotors of 194ª squadriglia bombardamento terrestre (193rd bomb squadron) based with the rest of 20° Stormo (20th wing) on Sciacca airfield in Sicily. On 20 April 1941 he was an observer on an aircraft flying on the Sciacca-Kuriate-Kerkenna-Sciacca course. While his wingman turned back one-hour after take-off due to bad weather, Barbesino's aircraft was never heard of again. To this day, he and the entire crew of six are still posted as missing.

Paul Sciacca

Paul Sciacca (June 15, 1909 – August 1986) was a New York City mobster who became boss of the Bonanno crime family.

Sambuca di Sicilia

Sambuca di Sicilia (Sicilian: Sammuca) is a comune (municipality) in the Province of Agrigento in the Italian region Sicily, located about 68 kilometres (42 mi) southwest of Palermo and about 89 kilometres (55 mi) northwest of Agrigento.

Sambuca di Sicilia borders the following municipalities: Bisacquino, Caltabellotta, Contessa Entellina, Giuliana, Menfi, Santa Margherita di Belice, Sciacca.

Tommaso Fazello

Tommaso Fazello (New Latin Fazellus, 1498 – 8 April 1570) was an Italian Dominican friar, historian and antiquarian. He is known as the father of Sicilian history. He is the author of the first printed history of Sicily: De Rebus Siculis Decades Duae, published in Palermo in 1558 in Latin. He was born in Sciacca, Sicily and died in Palermo, Sicily.He rediscovered the ruins of the ancient Sicilian towns of Akrai (modern Palazzolo Acreide), Selinus (modern Selinunte) and Heraclea Minoa. He also rediscovered the Temple of Olympian Zeus at Akragas (modern Agrigento).In 1555, he taught at the Convent of San Domenico, Palermo, which later became the University of Palermo.

Tony Scott (musician)

Tony Scott (born Anthony Joseph Sciacca June 17, 1921 – March 28, 2007) was an American jazz clarinetist and arranger known for an interest in folk music around the world. For most of his career he was held in high esteem in new-age music circles because of his decades-long involvement in music linked to Asian cultures and to meditation.

Valeria Bilello

Valeria Bilello (born 2 May 1982, Sciacca, Sicily, Italy) is an Italian actress and model.


Zach Sciacca, better known as DJ Z-Trip, is an American DJ and producer. He is a pioneer of the mashup movement.He was the 2009 recipient of the "America's Best DJ Award". As a producer he has worked with artists across different genres including LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Kasabian and Dan the Automator. As of 2012, he has also been featured as LL Cool J's touring DJ. He collaborated with Talib Kweli on the mixtape Attack the Block. In 2012, Z-Trip launched a new mixer with Rane and Serato called the 62-Z.

Climate data for Sciacca, Italy
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 57
Average low °F (°C) 51
Source: <World Weather Online= >Sciacca Monthly Climate Average, Italy. World Weather Online. 2016 Retrieved 14 September 2016. Missing or empty |title= (help)

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