The coastal city of Patti isn’t exactly a typical sleepy little Sicilian town, in the summer it is a buzzing tourist centre and is secured of its importance thanks to the many government offices and organizations that are located there. Patti’s vicinity to other big cities makes it a significant point in the map of north western Sicily.
Patti is symbolic of secluded Sicily in it’s ancientness. I keep coming back to this place thanks to a wonderful literary reference that has given Patti a special place in my heart.
Apart from being the location of a major hospital, law courts, the treasury and land tax office, two major high schools, a university campus and the forestry department amongst others things Patti is also an arch diocese in the Roman Catholic Church.
It is this religious element that makes Patti so important. You see, the Basilica of Patti has been around for centuries. The Basilica of Saint Bartholomew is the burial place of Sicilian royalty and nobility dating from the middle ages.
While reading Goethe’s Italian Journey I was left aghast to discover he passed through Patti in the 1786 and was a welcomed guest at the famous monastery.
It surprised me that such an unassuming place could have so much undisclosed history behind it. All it took was a little background reading to discover such an important connection to possibly the most famous travel log of all time.
Patti reminds me never to underestimate any place in Sicily. No matter how dull it may seem, it is always worth taking that exit off the Autostrada to visit Patti and her hidden Mausoleums.