Fegotto

Fegotto has enjoyed a remarkable history, gradually growing in prestige and beauty. It is the history of a highly productive feudal estate which, over the centuries, was passed on from one noble family to the next.

The first written record dates back to the 17th century, when the estate belonged to Girolamo Landolina of the baronial Landolina family from Noto, who were also barons of Carnicera. The title was inherited by his son (also named Girolamo) and thereafter by his grandson Aurelio. 

After the Landolinas, the property was to pass into the hands first of the Cannizzo and then of the La Jacona families, whose title was updated from Barons of Patro to Barons of Fegotto.

Later, however, the estate was granted in perpetual lease to Paolo Rizza, followed by his son Vito and grandson Evangelista: it was they who were to radically transform the estate, cultivating and managing it with entrepreneurial skills that were almost unheard of in the Sicily of that time.

Until the 1950s, the Fegotto farms produced a huge range of different crops. From vine to olive, carob to almond, from wheat to tobacco and even silkworms, the estate was synonymous with excellence, bringing home many a prestigious prize from national agricultural exhibitions.

As a result of this vast agricultural production, a number of different workshops sprung up over the years around the original manor house, including the palmento wine press, the olive oil mill, the dairy, as well as the cellar, the barn, the stables and even a blacksmith’s forge and a carpenter’s shop, while the huge kitchens made bread and transformed milk: these outstanding workshops are still perfectly preserved, complete with their original furnishings and tools.

Thanks to the Rizza family’s public role (Paolo had been a magistrate, Vito was elected mayor of Chiaramonte Gulfi, and Evangelista was elected to the national parliament), Fegotto became a social and religious hub. Indeed, its buildings were to house a chapel (which acted as a parish church until the 1970s), a state school (opened in 1908 and active until 1976), a Carabinieri barracks and even a post office.