|Welcome, today is May 25 2013|
The town of San Vito Lo Capo developed around the Main Church (Santuario) that was built around 300 a.c. and dedicated to San Vito Martyr.
The legend tells us about a rich young man called Vito son of a high-ranking officer in Rome. During the persecution ordered by Diocleziano against the Christians. Vito, Crescenzia his foster mother and Modesto his tutor converted to the Christianity had to escape from their native town to other far places. After two days of navigation a storm forced them to a small bay repaired by the wind. The three met the people of the village of Conturrana. During their stay they profess their religion without success, the people refused the doctrine and forced to leave the village. A few days later a landslip destroyed the village and no survivors were found alive. This event was considered by many a “punishment from God to the unbelievers”.
The people from Erice then, believing at the “sign” built a small church dedicating it to Crescenzia (photo on left). Crescenzia was with Vito where the landslip occurred at the time of the tragedy,.
Vito died in 299 a.c. and the people of San Vito built the first Church in his name. The Church of San Vito Martyr has been rebuilt several times in consideration of the increasing flow of believers that went to the Church. The absence of other buildings around the Church obliged the believers to find accommodation for the night outside in tents.
Around 1400 the people of Erice and the believers financed the construction of the Fortress to protect the Church and the believers from the attacks of bandits and pirates in search of gold and money. The Square tower by the Church was built around 1600.
The Fortress provided accommodation for rich and poor people, elegant suites for the first and modest rooms for the others. There were stables and even a well dedicated to San Vito and so called.
The Church became famous among the people for the miracles accredited to San Vito and Santa Crescenzia. S. Crescenzia was famous for freeing the people from fear and S. Vito for punishing the pirates and the bandits that attacked the Church and the believers with thunderstorms and shipwreck where they eventually lost their lives.
At the beginning of 1700 some houses were built around the Church. At first, the people will stop for a few days and then leave until, some of them decided to stay and started to offer accommodation and food to other visitors for small amount of money.
Between 1789 and 1791 was draft a census of the estate of the Kingdom’s University. Some territories were given to the people in order to establish a community with the obligation for them to live near by.
The Erice City Council, that was administering the territories, divided the territory in three counties: San Vito lo Capo, Macari and Castelluzzo.
For about 160 years the Erice City Council continued to administer the three counties. In 1952 San Vito lo Capo gained its own independence and the power to administer the counties of Macari and Castelluzzo.