The name is supposed to have derived from the Arabic “Gebel” and “Zghir”, which mean ‘small mountain’ and ‘small hill’ respectively. Believed by some historians to have been founded by the Arabs in the early middle ages, the medieval centre was formed around the castle built by Manfredi Chiaromonte in the 14th century. After the earthquake of 1968 and the resulting devastation, the town was slowly rebuilt. However, instead of rebuilding it near the ancient Gibellina, it was reconstructed about 20 kilometres further away. For its reconstruction, the ex-mayor, Ludovico Corrao, had the enlightened idea of “humanizing” the area, calling on different world-famous artists, such as Pietro Consagra and Alberto Burri, to come to Gibellina. Burri refused to have one of his works in the new urban context that was being built, and instead created a “Great Cretto” in the old Gibellina, in memory of the earthquake that destroyed it. Mario Schifano, Andrea Cascella, Arnaldo Pomodoro, Mimmo Paladino, Franco Angeli and Leanardo Sciascoa all answered to the mayor’s call. Today Gibellina is a museum of modern architecture. For example, there is the Chiesa Madre by Ludovico Quaroni, the Secret Gardens by Francesco Venezia, the Port of Belice by Pietro Consagra, Piazza 15th January 1968 with the Tower Civica-Carilion by Alessandro Mendini, the network of piazzas by Laura Thermes and Franco Purini, and the Monument to the Fallen Soldiers.
Local government offices: Piazza XV Gennaio 1968, 91024 Gibellina (TP)
Telephone switchboard: 0924 985111