La Finestra sulle Eolie
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History of Places

The municipality of Santo Stefano takes its name from the church of the Benedictine monastery of S. Croce di Santo Stefano in Val Demone (sanctuary built in the Norman period, a place of pilgrimage). In 1682, when a disastrous landslide occurred, the name of Santo Stefano was joined by the name of "di Mistretta". The name "di Camastra" has been used to honour the memory of Giuseppe Lanza, Duke of Camastra, who rebuilt the new centre.
The first nucleus of the house is formed as an aggregation of a group of vassals and villagers who depend on the Monastery of St. Stephen.  In 1639 Antonio Napoli was granted the title of Prince of S. Stefano di Mistretta. To the title is added in particular the administration of the goods of the priory of S. Anastasia, which provides for the possibility of collecting the taxes and the acquisition of the exercise of the rights of baulia, catapania and customs.
From the 11th century, the date of its presumed construction, to the 17th century, the farmhouse retained the name of Santo Stefano di Mistretta, indicating a close link with the most important centre of Mistretta. The name lasted until the landslide of 1682, due to the large landslides caused by torrential rains. Having ruined the old town, the new inhabited centre was built in 1683 at the behest of the Duke of Camastra, under whose lordship it was to be. Prince Giuseppe Lanza, Duke of Camastra, and Princess Maria Gomez de Silvera asked the king for the "licentia aedificandi", which was granted on March 30, 1683, giving rise to a new settlement with a characteristic geometric urban layout. The urban design was given by the military engineer Carlos de Grunenbergh, collaborator of the Duke of Camastra and designer of numerous fortifications in Sicily. De Grunenbergh used a scheme that looks like a square with a rhombus inserted and follows that used a few decades earlier in the French town of Henrichemont. Don Giuseppe Lanza can now also boast the title of Prince of the Earth and State of S. Stefano di Mistretta. The Centre officially took the name of S. Stefano di Camastra in 1812, the year in which the Constitution was promulgated in Sicily and that marks the beginning of the history of the current town.
Places of interest: Civic Museum (ethno-anthropological) - Museum of Ceramics Palazzo Trabia Ceramiche. (from wikipedia)
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