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Castelbuono

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Castelbuono is a town and comune in the province of Palermo, Sicily . It is especially famous for the castle which its name derives, and around which the city grew up in the 14th century.HistoryConstruction of the Castle began in 1316, by order of Count Francesco I of Ventimiglia, over the ruins of the ancient Byzantine town of Ypsigro, high on the San Pietro hill. Hence its original name, Castello del buon aere ("Castle of good air"), from which the name Castelbuono is derived - literally meaning "good castle".Numerous drastic alterations were made in the 17th century for reasons of accommodation, when a number of Ventimiglia families moved here from Palermo - the castle never served any really strategic purpose, owing to its geographic position down valley. The construction presents Arab-Norman and Swabian features: the cube shape recalls Arabic architecture; the square towers, although incorporated into those of the façade, reflect Norman architectural style, as also the battlements; and the round tower recalls aspects of Swabian architecture.The city is home to one of Europe's oldest road running competitions: the Giro Podistico Internazionale Castelbuono was first held in the city in 1912 and is held annually.Main sightsThe CastleThe construction of the Castle mixes Arab-Norman features with others typical of the castles built during the Hohenstaufen rule of southern Italy: the cube shape recalls Arabic architecture; the square towers, although incorporated into those of the façade, reflect Norman architectural style, as also the battlements; and the round tower recalls aspects of Frederick II's times architecture.
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