In the territory of Butera, on a promontory surrounded by greenery, stands the Castle of Falconara, the only one among the manors of the province of Caltanissetta to face the sea. Dating back to the fifteenth century, expanded and strengthened over time, it retained its function of vigilance against pirate raids until the eighteenth century.
The tower, the original nucleus of the castle, as well as defending the activities of a small ‘loader’, was part of the coastal defensive circuit of the island; in fact the control of the coast between Licata and Gela was entrusted to the towers of Falconara and Manfria, about 8 km apart.
Passed from the Santapau to the Branciforte and finally to the Chiaramonte Bordonaro, in the middle of the 800 a new building was added and it was renovated as an elegant noble residence, preserving the ancient Aragonese structure and the original spatial organization. The original nucleus, consisting of the old square tower, called “della Falconara” for the breeding of falcons that the lords kept there in an unspecified period, was manipulated and expanded by the different owners who had succeeded over the centuries.
Volumetrically the castle consists of a complex articulation of bodies developed around the central tower. Today it is difficult to distinguish the phases of evolution as the expansion and reorganization of the original structure have altered its architectural characteristics.
Inside the castle is very articulated, with richly decorated and decorated rooms, inside which are preserved collections of ceramics, paintings and hunting trophies conquered by the landlord and his father, the baron Gabriele Chiaramonte Bordonaro Alliata, in their numerous safaris in Kenya. The castle is partially surrounded by a crenellated wall, recently built, which leads to a beam on which overlook the various bodies that make up the architectural complex. The nineteenth-century wing, developed towards the sea, is completed by a large terrace overlooking the sea front; this body, connected by a staircase to the original tower, houses several halls and a lateral portico.
The courtyard is open on one side and the entrance is through a large arched door. On the perimeter of the court there are heterogeneous buildings, covered with pitched roofs and with balconies and windows that look out towards the exterior of the building. Substantially, the building complex has maintained the original spatial organization, even in the furnishing of fine furniture and refined workmanship that can still be found there.
On the façade where the entrance is located there is a gunboat in the tower and, at the corners, two protruding shelves of shelves. Also at the entrance there is a rectangular courtyard with stables and warehouses. From the outside you can also access the main chapel, whose decorative architectural elements, as well as throughout the central body, are in Modica stone; while the supporting structure is made of uniform plaster of lime and lime.
Outside the Castle of Falconara is surrounded by a park whose plant was designed in 1893 by the architect Ernesto Basile who also rearranged the prospect of entry to the court of the castle, in addition to the lush and exotic palm grove, there is also the presence rare of a flowering prickly pear with round palms of Mexican origin, species that in Sicily is found only in the Botanical Garden of Palermo, and a splendid swimming pool for the guests of the Castle.