Also known as Ruderi Castello, the place was first mentioned in 1271 as
a hamlet. In 1296 it was exchanged as a hamlet (casalis) by Alafranco di S. Basile with Count Francesco Ventimiglia of Geraci
(d.1338) under the new law of King Frederick III (d.1337) allowing the sale of feudal vills. Francesco was still holding it a little before 1330 and in 1331 Pettineo was
described as some motte built for
the men living in the hamlet. Presumably this describes
the tower which is the main fortification on the site. Later
some buildings were constructed on the north side of this.
The castle stands on a ridge rocky ridge facing the town to the
east. The main defence consists of a geometric rectangle
about 80' long by 50' across. At its northeast angle are the
shattered remains of a rectangular keep. This had a barrel
vault at the base and wooden floors above. The enceinte is
little more than foundations, although they show a range of buildings
within the curtain to the east. To the north was a further,
40' square court which was also walled. The whole looks like
a typical professionally planned thirteenth century castle.
There is a fresco on Pettineo Church vault which is probably nineteenth
century and represents how the castle was thought to have looked.
Why not join me at other Sicilian
castles? Information on this and other tours can be found at Scholarly
Paul Martin Remfry