NAME: Catoio (“U Catoiu”) in the local dialect
LOCATION: Via Madonna di Loreto
DATE OF CONSTRUCTION: It is believed that the Catoio was built during the period of the mandatory unification of the 24 farmsteads or hamlets (1535-1548), which became the city of Bronte.
DESCRIPTION: The “catoio” is a covered passageway of Arab origins. Inside you’ll notice a votive niche depicting the Virgin Mary, which we assume is the Madonna of Loreto, considering that this is the name of the street. Since the 1990s via Madonna di Loreto and the surrounding area have hosted the annual Pistachio Festival. This is one of oldest and most characteristic neighborhoods of the city making the festival an even more unique experience. Several of the walls in the neighborhood have been decorated by local artists with scenes that represent different eras of Sicilian life, the landscape and agriculture, but also the revolutionary uprisings of 1860.
HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE: the Catoio used to lead into a courtyard that accommodated several houses and families from the same casale (hamlet or farmstead). These groupings of houses provided strength in numbers and protection against the incursions of bandits.
ENTRANCE: Free/Outdoor attraction
HOW TO GET THERE:
By car: The Catoio cannot be reached by car.
By foot: From the main Corso Umberto I you must arrive in Piazza Rosario; from there, you can walk down along Via Leanza, which leads directly to Via Madonna di Loreto.