The City is situated towards
the eastern side of the hills known as “La Montagna,”
on the extreme Western part of the Gulf of Gela.
The territory has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic era
and subsequently visited by the Pheonicians and the Greeks,
but the true town was properly founded in 280 BC, by a tyrant
from Agrigento named Phintias, who gave it its name and welcomed
the citizens from Gela, which had been destroyed.
Its sea saw the Battle of Imera between the Carthaginians
of Amilcare and the Syracusans of Agatocle in 311 BC, with
the latter being defeated.
In 256 BC, during the First Punic War, there was a naval battle
at Capo Ecnomo between the Carthaginians and the Romans, led
by the Consul Marco Attilio Regolo. According to Polibio,
this was the biggest naval battle of ancients times, with
more than 700 ships and almost 300,000 men engaged in the
fighting. The clash was one by the Romans, under which Licata
became a very health commercial and mercantile centre
Subsequently, it passed hands under the Goths, and therefore
under Western Byzantine territory. The Arabs conquered Licata
in ‘827AD, under Asad.
On 25th July, 1086, Norman troops entered Licata, putting
an end to Arabic domination and seeing the beginning of a
period of development for the town, culminating in the consignment
of the Imperial Eagle, which is still today depicted in the
City’s coat of arms, on behalf of the Emperor Federico
II of Swabia during 1234.
With the end of the Swabian rule due to the Angioini (1270),
Sicily came up against one of the most significant historical
moments: the revolt of the Vespri Siciliani (Sicilian Vespers).
It exploded in Palermo during the time of vespers on 31st
March 1282, but was soon diffused throughout the entire region.
Licata took an active part and for this reason, was given
the title of Most Faithful of Alfonso I d’Aragona (1447).
In July 1553 the city was plundered and destroyed by the pirate
Dragut, causing its decision to erect defensive walls and
a tower on the Sant’Angelo hills.
Even though the City experienced negative events like the
Plague in (1625), and a famine (1647), Licata continued to
prosper as a mercantile port tied to the commerce of grain,
as happened during the Roman period.
By now, intolerant of being governed by the Bourbons, the
City actively participated in Garibaldi’s thousand strong
force to re-conquer the City.
Passed over to the Reign of Italy, as with all the regions,
Licata was a direct witness on 10th July 1943, to the dis-embarkment
of Americans on the Playa coast, when taking the City.
Today, Licata is a centre able to offer remarkable cues for
a cultural and artistic visit, beginning with its castles:
the S. Angelo Castle, the S. Nicola and Gaffe Towers, and
the Falconara Castle.
Amongst the religious buildings we note: the S. Agostino Church,
the Purgatorio Church, The Church of SS. Salvatore and the
San Domenico Church (1618).