|Comune di Palazzo Adriano|
Piazza Umberto I.
|Metropolitan city||Palermo (PA)|
|• Mayor||Salvatore Masaracchia|
|• Total||129 km2 (50 sq mi)|
(31 May 2009)
|• Density||18/km2 (47/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
Located in the heart of Sicania on the northern slopes of Monte delle Rose, almost equidistant from Palermo and Agrigento, it is a town of Arbëreshë origin. Although the inhabitants have abandoned the use of the Arbëresh language, the town's inhabitants preserve the Byzantine rite in their liturgy.
The first mention of a casale Adrianum (farmstead of Adriano) dates from before 1060 under the reign of the Norman Roger I of Sicily. More reliable is information about the hamlet of Palazzo Adriano reported in a 1243 document. From 1282, the fiefs land holdings that now constitute the area of Palazzo Adriano saw more than thirty baronies granted leases by the abbots of the monastery of Santa Maria di Fossanova. In 1787, the Royal Court of Ferdinand IV of Naples captured all these land holdings, which fell under the control of Palermo.
Starting in the 15th century, a group of Albanians, the Arbëreshë, settled in the sparsely populated areas around Palazzo Adriano. The fall of the last Albanian resistance under Skanderbeg after the Ottoman invasion prompted many Albanians to flee Albania. The Arbëreshë settled in small farmhouses built by shepherds and peasants. Throughout the ensuing centuries, the Arbëreshë kept their culture intact and continued to speak Albanian. In the 19th century, the flow of immigrants from Albania dried up, such that the Albanians in Palazzo Adriano became cut off from those in their homeland.
Although Palazzo Adriano is defined as an 'Albanian minority town' under the Law 482/99 ('Rules on the protection of historical linguistic minorities'), the Arbëresh language is no longer the common language within the Albanian community, and is today lost. The Albanian language continues in the prayer and liturgy of churches that follow the Byzantine Rite.