The church of San Vito and the homonymous convent rise in the highest part of the town and look on the big panoramic square close to
the most ancient road board of Bronte: the via Santi that starting from Piazza Maddalena (today Piazza Nunzio Azzia) arrives up to the sanctuary of the
The typology is the typical hall church to one only
nave. Certainly the
church has humble origin, was built where now are the sacristy and the
refectory’s corridor and, maybe, it was held together by clay, as they
used to build in Bronte in those times.
Nothing was reported about the church or the convent during the pastoral
visit in Bronte by Monsignor Torres in 1574. The land was granted to the Minori friars practicing the Order of S.
Frances to build the adjoining convent certainly after 1574.
The first sure mention goes back to 1592,
in which the viceroy count of Olivares order ”…that for the
construction of the said convent would be granted for three years the tax
on the meat, which would amount to 25 onzes per year".
Restorations and renovations
Since then underwent several restorations and
it was restructured in 1643 (being prior
P. Antonio from Bronte);
the inside was restored and decorated in 1879 (by
Nunzio Capizzi Monachello);
the apse was completely renewed with rich gildings and ornaments in 1880 (by the dean Giuseppe Ardizzone);
the balustrade of the major altar was constructed in 1894 (care of the friar
Francesco of Bronte).
There are no news instead, about the building of the choristers' area,
composed by a solid disposition of vaulted volumes leaning on marble
columns (can be accessed only from the contiguous convent).
simple and tidy, concluded at the top with the tympanum just
mentioned, stand out the black shape of the basaltic portal of
beautiful proportions, with floral decorations engraved in bas-relief,
and the central prismatic flight of steps in lava stone.
The inside to one only nave,
with apse and cantor' area, has rich gildings and ornaments which
reach the maximum decoration in the hemispherical part of the apse. The church has seven altars: to right Sant' Antonino, San Vito and
San Pasquale; to left San Giuseppe, San Francesco and the
Crucifix. The major altar, adorned with polychrome marbles, is
consecrated to the Virgin (precious the wooden statue).