Novara di Sicilia is a small town in the province of Messina, located within the borders between the Peloritani Mounts and the Nebrodi ones. The place name derives from the Sican word "Noa" (fallow land), referring to the cospicuous production of wheat. Then it became the Roman Novalia (field of wheat) and the Arab Nouah (garden). Finally, starting from the Middle Ages, it was called Nucaria, Noara and Novara.
The area was inhabited since the ancient times, as many remains of the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic Ages testify. The village developed during the Norman domination around a castle and was inhabited by Lombard settlers. Then, it belonged to a succession of families: Palizzi, Alagona, Gioeni and Lauria.
Novara di Sicilia is rich in architectural treasures, such as the Saracen castle, whose ruins are still visible. The Cathedral (XVI century), with its beautiful monumental façade and a multitude of steps, has three aisles, 12 altars, statues, paintings, a wooden choir and inlay works also in the marble.
the Oratory of San Filippo Neri (1610) houses the Town Hall. The Church of San Giorgio (XVII century), divided into three aisles by sandstone columns, the Church of Annunziata, with a valuable marble group representin the Annunciation by G.B. Mazzolo, the Abbey of the former Cistercian convent, with a French lavabo in bronze, and the Church of San Francesco (XIII century), the anciest of the town, are interesting too.