THE HISTORY OF VALVERDE
Valverde’s history fits perfectly among Aci’s ancient “Universitas”, the communities populating the territory that also appears in the famous myth of “Aci and Galatea”, which impressed literates, artists and travelers from all times. The actual town of Valverde was born around the middle ages, with Aci’s population leaving the coast made unsafe by pirates and trying to fit into various part of Aci’s woods. The first part of the population took refuge along the few roads of these woods, close to the ancient and already worshipped image of the Holy Virgin of Valverde.
Sculptural portrait of Aci and Galatea at Villa Belvedere, Acireale
After the split from Aci Aquilia (Acireale) and the construction of the towns of Aci S. Antonio and Aci S. Filippo in the 18th century, Valverde became a district of the latter and, in 1672, gained the attention of the regents, the Riggio princes, who introduced the Discalced Augustinians into the town around the end of 1600.
In 1826 Aci S. Antonio and Aci S. Filippo – Catena split and Valverde totally followed Aci S. Antonio’s historical and political events, being its most important district. In April 1951, partially due to the presence of its Sanctuary, Valverde became autonomous.
Valverde’s main square, now called the “Sanctuary Square” around the first half of the 20th century
So, 1951 saw the last act of dismemberment of the ancient “Universitas” of Aci. Soon, Valverde’s citizens replaced a small column decorating the round fountain in the main square with a marble stele. One of the main inscriptions reads “Institution of Valverde’s municipality, April 14th, 1951”. The same fountain calls Valverde “Holy Mary’s town” and on March 19th, 1953 the municipal administration actually proclaimed the Holy Virgin of Valverde “Patron, Lady and Queen of the Municipality”.