Santa Cristina Gela stands on a hill near the lake of Piana degli Albanesi.

In fact, the town, together with the municipalities of Contessa Entellina and Piana degli Albanesi, is part of the Albanian communities of Sicily where Albanian is still spoken. With only 994 inhabitants, the municipality of Santa Cristina Gela is one of the smallest in Sicily.  The small village has uncertain origins, it is certain that on 31 May 1691 the Archbishop of Palermo granted a pre-existing rural settlement to 82 settlers of Greek-Albanian origin coming from the nearby Piana degli Albanesi. In this small but charming town, those lush atmospheres of the Ottoman Empire’ court coexist with that feeling of independence of the Albanians, a humble and hardworking people.

If these places fascinate you, you can visit Santa Cristina Gela with one of our tours in Sicily:

Magna Via Francigena: a piedi da Palermo ad Agrigento

What to see in Santa Cristina Gela

Why not decide to spend a carefree day to discover the beauties of this fascinating village in Sicily?
If you want to spend a day in Santa Cristina Gela, we have prepared a list with things to see and visit in peace:

  • Fountains of Santa Cristina Gela
  • Church of Santa Cristina
  • Musacchia Palace

And now let's set off together to discover the most identifying places of Santa Cristina Gela! 

Fountains of Santa Cristina Gela

The symbols of Santa Cristina Gela are the fountains near the former municipal building. Evidence of a peasant community dedicated to harvesting and caring for livestock, they were once used for water supply.

Church of Santa Cristina

Taking via Santa Cristina you reach the beautiful and monumental parish of the same name. The Church stands in the same place where the ancient church founded by the first settlers of Santa Cristina Gela was built. The classic and simple style of the facade highlights the small niche where the patron saint is depicted which, together with the long wooden portico, is part of a single design surmounted by a rose window.

Musacchia Palace

Walking through the streets of the historic center it is possible to see the lake, whose enchanting view opens up as soon as you arrive in the central Piazza Umberto I. Here overlooks the prestigious Palazzo Musacchia which belonged to the family of the same name and today, following considerable restoration work, home to the municipal library.

What to do in Santa Cristina Gela - the Slow Active Tours proposal

Once you have discovered the wonders hidden in the narrow streets of Santa Cristina Gela, the time has come to get to the heart of the sounds and smells of this ancient village. 

  • Visit Lake Piana degli Albanesi

    The first artificial basin to be built in Sicily, the lake of Piana degli Albanesi is today a body of water populated by local flora and fauna, a destination for tourists and Sicilians who want to relax in nature and it still performs its hydroelectric function.

  • Magna Via Francigena: Walking from Palermo to Agrigento

    Slow Active Tours offers an exciting and intriguing walking journey to discover the hidden beauties of Sicily from north to south, from the Tyrrhenian Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.  

Popular Festivals and celebration in Santa Cristina Gela

On July 24th the community of Santa Cristina Gela celebrates the celebrations in honor of the patron saint Santa Cristina. The celebrations last several days and culminate with the procession of the relics donated by the Cardinal of Palermo to the community in 1994.
I costumi della tradizione e l'oro arbëresh” is a festival held to enhance the handicraft products of the Albanian minority in Sicily (one of the twelve recognized in Italy) and to pass on the traditional costume of the small town in the province of Palermo and its artisanal embroidery techniques. 

Typical dishes of Santa Cristina Gela

Santa Cristina Gela is a land of skilled pastry chefs, it is no coincidence that the small village competes every year for the title of best cannoli in Sicily.
The bread of Santa Cristina Gela is also particularly appreciated and is still made according to the traditional method and cooked in a wood oven. 

Eating and Drinking in Santa Cristina Gela

Here are some suggestions from the area:

Belvedere Ristorante Pizzeria in Viale Scanderbeg, 2. Quiet location and very friendly atmosphere. Ideal for eating excellent pizza.
Picasso Risto-Pub in Viale Scanderbeg, 35. Ideal place for a morning break or an afternoon aperitif. Really welcoming structure and family service. 

So what are you waiting for? Get your stuff ready and off you go!