Bidis, a Roman city mentioned by Pliny and Cicero, stood here in a territory that has been inhabited since prehistoric times.
The modern town developed in the Middle Ages around a now non-extant castle, as a fief of various lords, including the Chiaromontes and the Schittinos, although for many years it was also part of the royal domain.
In 1415, the Jewish community of Vizzini was expelled by Queen Blanca, and was never permitted to return.
On the 14th of July, 1943 the town of Vizzini was liberated from fascist forces by the British military. Specifically, by that time Vizzini was occupied by a small detachment of forces from Nazi Germany. Britain's XXX Corps under General Montgomery consisting largely of M4 Sherman Tanks easily overpowered the small group of German tanks that were present in the town. The town had been in the American occupational zone and this caused some confusion when British forces liberated the town first.
The Arab layout of the town can be clearly seen passing from Via Verga to Via San Gregorio Magno and proceeding as far as Largo della Matrice, a square with a statue of St. Gregory in the middle and the Chiesa Madre (S. Gregorio Magno) at one side.
The portal on the left face of the church, in splendid 15th-century Gothic-Catalan style, probably came from the old Town Hall, destroyed by the earthquake in 1693; in the interior there are late 18th century stuccos and a wooden ceiling by Natale Bonaiuto, as well as two paintings (The Martyrdom of St. Laurence and the Madonna delle Mercede) by Filippo Paladini (or Paladino), born in Florence about 1544. Another painting by Paladino, The Deposition (1607), is in the Chiesa del Convento dei Cappuccini.
Nearby is the Chiesa di Sant'Agata, rebuilt in the 18th century on the site of a previous 15th-century building and houses a pipe organ created around 1770.
The church of San Giovanni Battista is from the 18th century. The stuccos decorating the interior are by Natale Bonaiuto (also mentioned with reference to the Chiesa Madre).
The front of Chiesa S. Teresa is said to be the setting for scenes from Cavalleria Rusticana, the libretto of which is based on the play of the same name by Giovanni Verga, who lived in Vizzini for a time.
Antonello Gagini is present in the Chiesa dei Minori Osservanti, with a fine statue of the Madonna and Child (1527).
View of Vizzini from the valley below
Chiesa di Santa Maria di Gesù. The original 13th-century church was severely damaged in the 1693 earthquake and rebuilt in the Baroque style
Chiesa dello Spirito Santo
Chiesa di S. Maria di Gesù
Chiesa di S. Vito
Chiesa S. Annunziata
Chiesa di S. Francesco di Paola
Chiesa di S. Maria del Pericolo
Chiesa S. Sebastiano
Chiesa S. Teresa.
Chiesa dei Minori Osservanti
Chiesa di Sant'Agata
Chiesa del Convento dei Cappuccini
Monastero S. Maria dei Greci
Palazzo di città (municipio Building).
Palaces and other buildings
Palazzo di Citta (early 19th century)
Palazzo Verga (family of the writer)(18th century)
Palazzo di città (municipio)(Town Hall Building)
Palazzo La Gurna
Palazzo Gandolfo Maggiore
The writer Giovanni Verga used Vizzini as the setting for his Cavalleria Rusticana and Mastro Don Gesualdo, describing places and scenes that are still recognizable (the prickly pears of Cunziria, and in a sloping alley the house of the Trao family).