Riesi, an ancient feud
Archaeological data have revealed an attendance of the territory of Riesi since the IIIrd or IInd millennium B.C.. The more remote epoch of the extra moenia (area outside the city walls of the town) is attested by the discovery of a multitude of ancient artifacts, many of which are identified in the necropolis located in front of Mount Veronica and the so-called “Piano of Margio”. The oven tombs, exceeding fifty, have the same characteristics of the most famous tombs of Castelluccio and Pantalica. In the same cemetery, archaeologists have identified objects dating from the VIIIth century B.C., during which they have appeared the first Greek colonists. Remains of the Hellenic civilization were discovered in some districts of Riesi, like the traces of a farm dating from the Vth and IVth century B.C. near Giarratana Mountain. In Roman times, the territory of Riesi was populated by small farms linked to the large Sicilian estates of the centre of Sicily. After a long period of neglect, in the norman age, the area became a fief under the dominion of the most important noble families of the time. In particular, the territory of Riesi was owned by the dynasty of Ventimiglia, who lost it in 1393 and then re-appropriate in 1453, to give, finally, between the XVth and the XVIth century, to the De Castellar family. After many years, during the first two decades of the XVIIth century, were awarded the barony of Riesi the Urries, mentioned in the historical chronicles for donating to the territory of some mills, a church, a warehouse and stores. But only later, in the second half of the XVIIth century, it is possible to place the foundation of Riesi work for the Prosecutor Don Cristoforo Benenati, whose intervention allowed the construction and start building of the first houses, around 1629, the first factory of the Mother Church, is currently visible in the area of the “Drain”.