Surrounded by dense woods and countryside, the city center is perched on the hills and dominated by the massive Mount Genuardo.
The village was built around a small chapel dedicated to Mother Mary (Annunziata), where the Church of St.Mary of Grace is located. Its history is marked at a historical event that happened around 1450 when a group of Albanian exiles moved away from their lands to escape the Ottoman invasion and found refuge in Contessa Entellina. To this day two souls, the Sicilian and the Balkan, still coexist, they integrate and complement each other:the Albanian language is still spoken and its inhabitants are called arbëreshë, i.e. Italian-Albanians.
The Mother Church in the city, of sixteenth-century origin, dedicated to St.Nicoló of Mira, and the eighteenth-century Churches of Maria Santissima Immacolata and of St.Rocco are not to be missed.
The Rock of Entella
The surroundings of Contessa Entellina soak you in a landscaper of another dimension. Crossing winding valleys, you will find yourself in front of a large rocky massif, the chalky plateau Rocca d'Entella. Since 2000 Donnafugata has supported the archaeological excavations on this fortress: conducted from the Scuola Normale of Pisa, in collaboration with the Superintendency of Cultural Heritage, they aim to contribute to the knowledge of the Elima civilization present here since the 4 th century BC, dedicated to agriculture and in particular to the cultivation of vines right where Donnafugata has her vineyards today. Not surprisingly, one of the company's best-known wines took the Latin name of Entella, specifically “Anthìlia”.
The park of Gattopardo and the Filangeri palace of Cutó
About 3 km from Donnafugata Estate, in S.V. Palermo-Sciacca, is Santa Margherita of Belìce. Destroyed by the 1968 earthquake, it preserves the Filangeri palace in Cutó, which was the countryside house of G.Tomasi of Lampedusa, and in the “Gattopardo” it was described as the “palace of Donnafugata”. Here is the museum where the original manuscript is kept and among the many materials there are some interviews with Claudia Cardinale and Alain Delon, unforgettable performers of the film by Luchino Visconti. The garden outside the museum, with fountains and rare centuries-old plants, is a must-see.