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Bronte

Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Catania  /  Bronte
Bronte is a town and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania, in Sicily, southern Italy. The town is situated approximately 10mi west-northwest from Mount Etna, on the side of the valley of the Simeto river, and about 20mi west from Giarre and the coast. Bronte is mostly reliant on farming for its economy, particularly of pistachio nuts.HistoryBronte's name derives from that of one of the First Cyclopes and it means "The Thunderer". Legend has it that the Cyclopes lived under Mount Etna.In 1520 Charles V united the twenty-four hamlets of the surrounding area, which formed the town of Bronte. Mount Etna nearly destroyed the town three times, in 1651, in 1832, and finally in 1843.In 1799, King Ferdinand III created Bronte as a Duchy, and rewarded admiral Horatio Nelson with the title of Duke for the help he had provided him in suppressing the revolution in Naples and so in recovering his throne. As well as being made a Duke, Nelson was given as a fief the Castello Maniace, which at the time was the remains of a Benedictine Monastery. The Castle passed into the Bridport family when the 1st Viscount Bridport married the then Duchess of Bronte, who was Admiral Nelson's niece. The Bridports continued to live in the castle until 1982 when the current Viscount sold the property to the Comune of Bronte. Today it is a local tourist attraction in Maniace, and has been restored (including the recreation of ceramic-tiled floors) by the Comune. It is built in the style of an English country house (with formal garden) set in the hills of eastern Sicily.
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