San Fratello (Gallo-Italic: San Frareau, Sicilian: Santu Frateddu,
Greek and Latin: Apollonia, Medieval
Latin Castrum S. Philadelphi),
formerly San Filadelfio, is a comune (municipality) in the
Metropolitan City of Messina
Metropolitan City of Messina in the Italian region Sicily, located
about 110 kilometres (68 mi) east of
Palermo and about 90
kilometres (56 mi) west of Messina.
San Fratello borders the
following municipalities: Acquedolci, Alcara li Fusi, Caronia,
Cesarò, Militello Rosmarino, Sant'Agata di Militello.
Its peak of population was in 1921, with 10,094. In the following
decade, it lost nearly 20 percent of its population, as people
migrated for work to cities and to other countries, especially the
3 See also
The name of
San Fratello derives from three pious brothers: Alfio,
Cirino and Filadelfio. In their honour a festival is held annually on
10 May. The village was founded in the 11th century by Adelaide del
Vasto, the wife of Roger I, a noble of present-day French
conquered Sicily. She came to
Sicily together with colonists. They
introduced their Gallo-Italic dialect, which is still spoken in the
San Fratello is one of the so-called Oppida Lombardorum of
Sicily, settlements established by the Lombards. In addition to their
language, they brought
Latin Christianity, which gradually replaced
Byzantine Christianity and Islam.
The territory of the comune is part of the
Nebrodi mountains. It has
had two major landslides of record. The first was in 1754, and a
second large one occurred in 1922. On 1–2 October 2009, the province
Messina suffered devastating, widespread mudslides after a sudden
heavy rainstorm; scores of residents died.
In February 2010, after a period of large amounts of rain in the
Messina region, as a safety precaution, officials evacuated one-third
of the population by 14 February. An extensive landslide soon after
caused damage to homes in
San Fratello and the region.
Benedict the Moor, was born to African slave parents and freed at
birth by their master. The boy grew up here, where he joined a
Franciscan hermitage. He later joined a friary in Palermo. He became
known for his exemplary life and was canonized as an Italian saint in
1807. He has been internationally venerated in the Catholic and
Lutheran churches. He was the first black saint canonized with a
regular canonical process.
Al Pacino, American actor, is a descendant through his paternal line
of immigrants from San Fratello.
Bettino Craxi Italian politician, was born here.
Lombards of Sicily
Gallo-Italic of Sicily
Norman conquest of Sicily
^ All demographics and other statistics: Italian statistical institute
^ Richard Talbert, Barrington Atlas of the Greek and Roman World,
(ISBN 0-691-03169-X), Map 47, notes.
^ Lombard colonists came from the
Liguria regions in
northern Italy, and from
Provence in France. They became known as the
Lombards, associated with the Norman conquest of Sicily.
Comuni of the Metropolitan City of Messina
Alcara li Fusi
Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto
Castel di Lucio
Francavilla di Sicilia
Monforte San Giorgio
Nizza di Sicilia
Novara di Sicilia
Pace del Mela
San Filippo del Mela
San Marco d'Alunzio
San Pier Niceto
San Piero Patti
San Salvatore di Fitalia
Santa Domenica Vittoria
Sant'Agata di Militello
Santa Lucia del Mela
Santa Marina Salina
Sant'Angelo di Brolo
Santa Teresa di Riva
Santo Stefano di Camastra