The Castello degli Schiavi is one of the jewels of the Sicilian rural Baroque of the 18th century. The equipped villa was built between 1750 and 1756, while the upper loggia between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century. The building was equipped with highly refined decorative elements by the architect Paolo Amico Guarrera. It was the period in which great personalities such as Vaccarini and Ittar worked in Catania, among others.
The palace was built by Don Girolamo Pavone on the San Giovanni estate for which he had obtained the lease in 1756 from the Prince of Palagonia. Pavone was awarded the title of Magnificent and also boasted the citizenship of Messina for having contributed to the fight against the plague of 1743 by bringing a ship full of watermelons to quench the thirst of citizens who could not use the tanks infected by the disease. He had an illegitimate daughter from Santa Voce, descended from an ancient family that had governed the city of Belvedere (the current Piedimonte Etneo) on behalf of the princes of Palagonia.
Giuseppina, his only daughter, was recognized by Don Girolamo at the age of 12 and in 1761 she married, with the huge dowry of 5,000 scudi, an heir of the prestigious Carpinato family of Acireale. Then, marriages and ordinary succession events brought this property back to the Platania family of the barons of Santa Lucia, the same barons who in 1628 had received the feud as a dowry brought by Giulia Gravina-Crujllas.
And the term 'of the Slaves' is linked to the Crujllas family. It seems that more than the legend of the Moors, the famous diction is to be attributed to the corruption of the toponym that defined this place, or 'Crujllas excavation', a name used until the 16th century. In fact, there was a large lava stone quarry in the bottom of the Crujllas lords, who in Calatabiano also owned the large castle on top of the Terravecchia hill.
According to the correct popular Sicilian diction, the palace has always been defined, to be precise, as 'casteddu di scavi'.