San Marco D’Alunzio is a medieval village of little more than two thousand inhabitants located in the Province of Messina. The Romans arrived in San Marco d’Alunzio in the third century BC giving the name of Haluntium, later became city decumana “in Latin decumanus” (street running east to west in Roman times) and in the Augustan age (between the death of Caesar and that of Augustus 44 BC 14 AD) became Municipium Aluntinorum by developing a flourishing trade in wine and oil. In the fourth century BC, the village was inhabited by Sicilians, Sicani and Greeks whose partial walls are visible near Porta di S. Antonio, in addition to let in heritage temples including the Temple of Heracles later converted into a Christian church. In the sixth century AD, became a dominion of the Byzantines with the name of Demenna with remaining traces with frescoes preserved in the Museum of Figurative Art Byzantine and Norman.
In the ninth century, the Arab culture imposed its own traditions with the invasion of San Marco D’Alunzio, the development of agriculture and trade and the construction of a mosque near present-day Mother Church. It was named after San Marco with the occupation of the Normans and in 1061, Robert Guiscard built a mighty castle around the town. In 1081 it was ruled by Ruggero and dependent on Royal Demesne (common law); thereafter the impregnable castle became the residence of the Altavilla from 1090 to 1112.
A Jewish community, Latin and Greek coexisted from the thirteenth to the fourteenth century, King Frederick of Aragon gave it to his brother Sancho in 1320 and, in 1398, King Martin of Sicily granted to Abbo Filangieri whose dynasty ended in 1507.
There are many places of historical interest such as the twenty-two churches and the Temple of Hercules of which remains blocks of tufa stone; San Teodoro or Badia small of the sixteenth century with Latin and Greek cross and beautiful stucco by Giacomo Serpotta; the Benedictine monastery of 1545, now a museum with Byzantine-Roman with at the ground floor three apses of the Chapel of the Four Doctors (St. John Chrysostom, St. Gregory Nazianzen, St. Basil and St. Athanasius) of the eleventh century Byzantine frescoes. In the parish museum there are holy vestments, reliquaries made of wood, a Virgin Odigitria in polychrome wood, a wooden statue of Mary Magdalene of the XVII century. The church of the Madonna Annunziata was built on the ruins of a pagan temple with Byzantine frescoes and a statue of Our Lady in white Carrara marble of the fifteenth century, the church of the Mother of St. Nicholas with the façade with three portals in local red marble; Santa Maria delle Grazie with funerary monument of the powerful family of Filangieri; the eighteenth-century church of San Basilio; the seventeenth-century church of Ara Coeli with portal with fluted columns and floral decorations; the Chapel of Jesus Christ adorned with fine stucco and a wooden crucifix of the seventeenth-century of the Spanish school; the church of San Salvatore Badia Grande for the monastery of the Benedictine nuns founded by Queen Margaret of Navarre with marble portal aluntino and columns with angels and smurfs and important frescoes inside.
Pignolata of San Marco D’Alunzio
The borough also surprises from the culinary aspect with fried macaroni and homemade pasta, the typical production of salami, lattupitte (fried bread dough slightly leavened), grilled meat and fish as well as the pastry with traditional Sicilian cannoli, pignolata and milk cookies and vermouth.