The Sanctuary - San Vito Lo Capo

The Sanctuary of San Vito Lo Capo

The sanctuary-fortress of San Vito Lo Capo was built in the 15th century almost certainly to protect pilgrims from pirates, incorporating the body of an existing church dating back to the 14th century. Restoration works in 2003 revealed the church’s original east-west orientation as well as a hypogeum with two wells, of probable religious function.

Today’s presbytery, the so-called chapel of San Vito, is decorated with local marble and plaster statues by Orazio Ferraro (1624-1628). In the centre is the statue of the saint, a fine work of art in Gagini style (1587), with episodes of his life during his stay in town carved into the base. Contemporary works of art worthily complete the array of sacred embellishments.

The adjacent spaces house the museum with its collection of silverware, liturgical furnishings and sacred works of art linked to worship and pilgrimage in honour of San Vito. Of particular note is the wooden statue of the ‘Immaculate’ Virgin, by an unknown Sicilian sculptor from the early 16th century, which was found in the Tonnara del Secco.