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Custonaci was born at the end of the 18th century, following the Bourbonic initiatives of populating by assigning pieces of uncultivated land. It has been inhabited since the Palaeolithic period, as numerous archaeological remains scattered over the territory bear witness; the town also includes the high peak of Mount Sparagio where the woodlands have grown up. The town’s economy is mainly based on the extraction and the working of marble, making it, in fact, the most important centre for marble in Sicily.
The most important products are: the perlato di Sicilia, the libeccio antico, the bottoncino, the avorio venato and the fiorito. The little town also stands out for its crystal clear sea and for the sandy shores at Cala Buguto and Cornino, the seaside area of Custonaci; here, the stretch of coastline offers a decidedly evocative panorama, formed by Mount Cofano, by Torre San Giovanni di Cofano and by the Frassino-Tuono Plain surrounded by Mount Palatimone. Both from the geological and from the palaeontological point of view, the many caves scattered throughout the territory are of interest: a fundamental destination for those who decide to visit the Mount Cofano natural reserve. At the locality of Scurati, there is the Grotta Mangiapane, so-called by the family who lived there from 1800 until the end of the second world war and it is characterised by a typical baglio where, every year during the Christmas period, there is the representation of a living crib scene; amongst the other caves, we need to mention: the grotta delle Mandorle (cave of the Almonds), the grotta Maria di Custonaci, the grotta del Crocifisso (cave of the Crucefix), the grotta Miceli and many more besides.
The town of Custonaci preserves a Sanctuary dedicated to Maria SS. di Custonaci, a destination for pilgrims since the 14th century; there are various architectural styles which compose it: Gothic, Renaissance and Romanesque. All of this is due to the fact that the Church has been rebuilt in various historical periods; the Madonna is represented in a 15th century painting and, in addition, opposite the building, there is a beautiful parvis in pebble mosaic depicting flowers and rose windows, realised in the Nineteen hundreds by a local priest.
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