THE ARAGONESE CASTLE OF PIAZZA ARMERINA, SICILY: NEW SURVEYS FOR THE CONSERVATION AND THE VALORISATION OF A CULTURAL RESOURCE
Sicily owns a vast heritage consisting of manors, strongholds, coastal towers and city fortifications that reflect its long history and strategic role in the Mediterranean Sea. Most of these assets are now in poor condition and abandoned, affected by both aging and the lack of preservation and maintenance activities. Their knowledge is often incomplete because of a lack of archival sources and the quasi-absence of accurate surveys and stratigraphic analyses. A systematic research programme on the most important castles in central Sicily, was then launched. In this context, this paper presents the case study of the Aragonese castle in Piazza Armerina. It shows the first results of a multidisciplinary study based on the integrated use of technologies for three-dimensional survey and supported by new critical interpretations of the morphological and material peculiarities of such an important cultural good. An operational practice aimed at correctly orienting future restoration and reuse activities, based on both scientific criteria and respectful approach to the monument.