The first hexagonal town in Europe
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The first hexagonal town in Europe

Built in the late 17th century, Grammichele is one of the few towns in the world that has a unique plan left to this day.

Town history

Located in the province of Catania, which is in the island of Sicily, Italy, Grammichele was founded after a massive earthquake that occurred in 1693. This disaster swept away a previous settlement called Occhialà, to the north of Grammichele. The survivors then built a new town, named Grammichele. The town was named after St. Michele in the hope that the saint will protect the new town from the next disaster.

The prince of Roccella and Butera, Carlo Maria Carafa Branciforte, ordered to build the town. Designed by Michele da Ferla, Grammichele is known as the first city in Europe that was arranged in hexagonal form.

Special construction structure

Many people believe that this plan was inspired by Palmanova, a fortified town built a hundred years ago. The difference is that Palmanova is based on nine-sided polygons, while the Grammichele is hexagonal with endless expansion. The whole town is divided into 6 areas, with 6 arterial roads converging on the main square.

The first hexagonal town in Europe

In the town, many areas are created for people to gather in a disaster. These square areas are about the same size. All are connected by a concentric road network around the main hexagon square, called Prince Carafa Square. In addition to hexagons, four rectangular districts were designed. One of them is expected to build the Prince’s Palace but this has never been carried out.

A nice town tourism

To reach this unique town, visitors can book flights to Catania-Fontanarossa airport. This is the closest airport to Catania and also one of the busy airports in Italy. From the airport, visitors can take the AMT Alibus bus to the city center station. Buses have a scheduled 25-minute trip, departing from 4h40 to midnight. Bus fare is 4 euros.