The overabundant beauty of Castelvetrano’s Church of the Holy Trinity
Sicilians call the Church of the Holy Trinity in Castelvetrano – like other religious buildings from the Byzantine age – a “cuba”, hence its popular name, “Cuba di Delia”. The origin of the word is debated, with some ascribing it to the Latin ‘cupa’ (“barrel”) and others connecting it to the Arab ‘qubba’ (“dome”). One thing is for sure: the building well represents the typically Sicilian taste for anything overabundant and temporary at the same time.
With its marked apses, central dome, and Greek cross plan, the Church of the Holy Trinity is an important example of Norman-Byzantine architecture, which took elements from Roman, Byzantine, and Arab cultures.
This multitude of coexisting styles reflects the “excess of identity” that writer Gesualdo Bufalino spoke of in describing Italy’s largest island, which just “happened to be the hinge between the great Western culture and the temptations of the desert and sun, between reason and magic, between mild feelings and burning passions”.
The building was subject to a range of radical transformations that changed its look over the centuries, until Giuseppe Patricolo restored it to its original appearance in the late 1800s… only to reveal its inborn excessive beauty.