Lentini
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LENTINI

This city has very ancient foundations and associates its birth to the myth of the Lestrigoni, a population who were dedicated to agriculture and stock-raising, and who later changed its name to Sicily.
Before the arrival of the Greek Calcidesi colonies (8th Century BC) under the command of Teocle, the territory was also inhabited by the Siculi who arrived here from the peninsula in the 15th Century, driving the Sicani towards the west.
The Greek colony quickly saw a period of commercial development, to the point where it founded other colonies, amongst which Euboia. It then lost its independence in 494 BC at the hand of Ippocrate of Gela. In 476 BC, Lerone of Syracuse deported the inhabitants of Catania and Naxos to Lentini. In order to assure its protection, Leontinoi tightened its alliance with Athens, leading to a clash between the aristocrats protected by Syracuse and the democrats protected by Athens. This situation led Athens to intervene against Syracuse, protected by Sparta, and to the complete disbanding of the Athenian army.
Once immersed in the Syracuse atmosphere, Lentini remained for around two centuries until a clash with the Romans, who besieged and destroyed it in 214 BC.
Under Rome, Lentini slowly lost its importance and the inhabitants began to migrate towards the countryside.
Beginning with the Ostrogoth reign in the 6th Century, Lentini was then conquered by Belisario in 535 and annexed to the Western Roman Empire, which only took advantage of its resources, causing its further impoverishment.
It was then conquered by the Arabs in ‘847 and saw a period of development. It passed hands to Norman power in the 11th Century, then was destroyed a century later by the earthquakes of 1140 and 1169. Its reconstruction under the Swabians and the settlement of various religious orders, gave breathing space to the town.
During subsequent centuries, as with many other Sicilian cities, Lentini saw battles for power amongst the most important families on the island.
The earthquakes during 1542 and especially during 1693, completely destroyed Lentini, which was rebuilt very slowly over the subsequent three centuries.
As with the rest of Sicily, it was annexed to the Reign of Italy during 1860.
A not to missed visit in Lentini is to the Archaeological Park, where one can admire ancient walls (7th Century BC), the Necropolis and the pre-historic village of Xouthia.
In the City centre, one can also enjoy a visit to the church called the Chiesa Madre, dedicated to Saint Alfio from the 18th Century, Saint Luca, the Church of S.S. Trinità and Saint Marziano, as well as the Archaeological Museum.

LENTINI
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Sicily region, Island of Italy

 

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