Gibellina and Poggioreale: earthquake ruins, landscape architecture and art
The earthquake of 1968 devastated the entire Belice region and the towns of Gibellina and Poggioreale in particular. New Gibellina, built after the earthquake, is one of Italy’s most interesting examples of landscape architecture, a veritable museum en plein air with dozens of monumental sculptures spread out around town.
Unlike Gibellina, Poggioreale was abandoned after the earthquake, and is often referred to as a ghost town. Travelling to Poggioreale means getting in touch with the devastation that an earthquake brings to a town and its inhabitants. In the case of Poggioreale, people preferred not to cancel the traces of the earthquake with new constructions and landscape art. They decided to let nature take the town back.
Read more about Gibellina and Poggioreale in our Guide to Sicily >>
The tour begins in New Gibellina with a tour of its sculptures and its architecture, including the spherical Chiesa Madre designed by Quaroni, and Pietro Consagra’s Porta del Belice, a fitting symbol of the town's renaissance. New Gibellina’s urban conception is the most fascinating aspect of the town, with its colonnades, its art-filled avenues and its squares. Designed as a utopia the town hangs precariously between the pull of the past and the push of the future, between the intellectual aesthetic of its creators and the everyday requirements of its inhabitants.
The tour continues with a visit of Gibellina’s Civic Contemporary Art Museum, which has an impressive collection of works, including a series of paintings by Mario Schifano.
Then it's off to visit Alberto Burri’s Cretto, a colossal sculpture superimposed onto the ruins of the Old Gibellina.
The tour ends in Old Poggioreale, a 20-minute drive away. There, you will walk through the ruins of the old town, see the remains of its cathedral, town hall, theatre, and other buildings which, despite their state of degradation, are still recognizable.
When: Tuesday to Saturday
Duration: 6-7 hours
Villas in the west of Sicily >>
Terms and Conditions
Think Experiences are provided by independent local companies which are neither owned not controlled by The Thinking Traveller and for whom we act only as an agent. Whilst every effort is made to keep the description of every Think Experience up to date, the provider may cancel or amend your experience at their discretion for many reasons including where it considers that there may be a risk to your comfort, health or safety. Some excursions/activities (i.e. helicopter rides, excursions on Mount Etna, boat charter, etc.) may contain an element of risk or require a good level of physical fitness, and, if in doubt, you should contact us so we can put you in contact directly with the local provider before deciding to buy. Please also check that you are covered for the activity(ies) in question by your travel insurance policy.
In acting in the capacity of an agent on behalf of the provider, your contract will be with that provider and will be subject to their standard terms and conditions, and it will not form part of your contracted holiday arrangements with us. Any complaint (including any allegation of breach of contract or negligence) should be taken up with the excursion/activity provider directly. We will do our best to assist you, but will have no liability in relation to the performance of that contract.