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About us

Years of history


"I Protettori dell'Universo"

("The Protectors of the Universe")

It's a welcoming place where to spend a relaxing holiday in touch with nature. In fall and winter, through olives and artichokes harvesting, in spring and summer, through the beach and the countryside, guests can experience every season in absolute relaxation, in touch with nature and tasting the products of the fortress. A mixture of tastes, emotions, colours and feelings which, in alternance with food and wine moments organized inside the structure, put our guest in touch with the rural Hyblaean reality. It’s the perfect site for charming holidays, for those who love history and nature, and to find themselves far away from the stressful modern lifestyle. It’s a wild and romantic land in the heart of the Hyblaean countryside, on a scenical hill with very low anthropization, it's the ideal base to discover the richness of the land.
With her noble elegance, Baronessa Corrada Maria Giovanna Elena Gaetana Bruno Palmisano welcomes our guests. The estate belongs to her by inheritance.


Baroness Corrada Maria Giovanna Elena Gaetana Bruno Palmisano


The history

Witness accounts on the fortress bring back to memory ancient and violent battles in the surrounding countryside.
Under the byzantine domination, during the long kingdom of Costantino V (741-775), in Sicily, under the order of Basilla Irena of Costantinopoli, a precise reinforcement program was started. Witnessed by the arabian historian Ibn al-Athîr, it was supposed to stop the increasingly pressing pirate raids, which culminated in the in the big invasion in the year 827. The fortifications were built along the shore, with a distance between them ranging from 3 to 7 km, so that, through the use of smoke signals, it was possible to get information about the movements of the Saracen ships present in the sea in front of the coast to the Palermo palace.
Not all the heights of the island had a fortress. However, the sources have no doubts about the extent of the invervention and clearly distinguish different types of fortifications that had an important strategic and defensive function. Among them Fortezza Bruno, which the Arabs took possession of once they conquered Sicily.

The geographical position

The Fortress is located in Val di Noto, in Ispica, the ancient Spaccaforno, in Contrada Miucia, which in the Arabic language means "meeting point", a crossroads of trade that developed from the interior of the island to the sea and in particular towards the nearby port of Pozzallo, already known by the Arabs so much as to be mentioned by the geographer Al Idrisi.
The Arab architecture is evident in the buildings added to the Fortress, whose measurements are all multiple and sub-multiple of 12 meters, in the dislocation of the Arab garden located a few dozen meters away from the Fortress, in the division of its spaces originally also interspersed with fountains.
The history and transformations of the Fortress do not end with the Arabs but continue with the Normans. When the latter drove the Arabs away, the brigandage spread like wildfire on the territory and, to counter this phenomenon, almost certainly, for a few centuries, the Fortress was a military fortress. Later it became a place of worship, as it can be seen from the ancient tile dedicated to the "Protectors of the Universe" and the ancient church present in the historical complex.
Today the Bruno Fortress is a unique testimony within the cultural, landscape and historical-architectural landscape of the Iblea area.

Ancient tile dedicated to the "Protectors of the Universe"”

Present on the prospect of the Bruno Fortress

The Bruno Family Crest:

It’s a covenant of alliance. On the left the two woman heads and the bar recall the medieval coat of arms that was represented by a blue background crossed by a golden band.
On the right the rampant lion, very rare in the European heraldry, is the symbol of strength and command. The crown above the lion’s head does nothing but strengthen the position of privilege and status of the family. The checked pattern is extremely rare as well. It comes from the marriage alliance with the Pepoli Family, the same that had, in the early Middle Ages, the fate of the City of Bologna in its hands.
The crown in princely and marquisal, with five points, while the princely ermine mantle confirms the dignity and the rank of this family. They came to Sicily following Manfredi, son of Federico II. Already noble in Florence, they were driven out because Ghibelline.
As for the representations that adorn the outer part of the fortress, the castle, the drums and the arquebuses, they’re used to emphasize the belonging of the Bruno family to what is called “ Nobility of sacrifice”,or that part of the European aristocracy that has conquered its position by fighting and guiding the troops to attack the enemy, often sacrificing their life, for the good of the kingdom and its own king.
in 2017 the restyling of the Bruno family crest was entrusted to the young, Catania born artist Erika De Luca. She graduated from the Lazzaro Artistic High School of Catania. She’s now specializing in Digital and Concept art at Nautilus Academy.