Polizzi Generosa, on the western slopes of the Madonie Mountains attracts hikers, cyclists and skiers to the nature reserve, the Parco Regionale delle Madonie, with its footpaths and biking trails in the summer and ski runs during the winter. There was ice on the roads as we reached the city, in its high position there in the mountains. The highest of these peaks reaches about 6000 feet and there was snow visible at the higher elevations. The four seasons were represented in the terrain around us. There was the snow, some trees just turning fall colors of orange and golden, with wildflowers and green fields below!
The archeological museum houses the treasures from a Hellenistic necropolis unearthed when they were building a school there in the year 2000. It’s a wonderful collection of pottery and household objects that date from the 4th century BC. Like Palermo, the town traces its history through Byzantine, Arab and Norman influences. In fact, in 1082, Roger I gave the Polizzi territory to his niece Adelasia, who greatly influenced the development of the town. It is said that the people of Polizzi were always welcoming to all the noble and royal families who passed through and was nicknamed “Generosa” (kind) by King Frederick II of Swabia in 1232. It was also quite progressive, as in 1901 it was the first Sicilian town to have electric lighting!
Personally, I was able to search back as far as the records go – to the 1700s – but still have this sense of wonder about how far back my family’s roots go in this beautiful, ancient village about an hour’s drive from both Cefalu to the east and Palermo to the west.