If you are wondering what to see in Caltagirone, consider that the town is part of the Val di Noto, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the beauty of the towns in this valley.

Scicli, Modica, Ragusa Ibla, Catania, Militello, Palazzolo Acreide all cities together with Militello, included in the UNESCO list. So there is no shortage of things to see in Caltagirone. Let’s start with some history and then list everything you shouldn’t miss in this wonderful country.

What to see in Caltagirone
trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons
Via Luigi Sturzo, Caltagirone
Via Luigi Sturzo – By Davide Mauro – CC BY-SA 4.0

History

The history of the country is very rich, a succession of different cultures and peoples, even if it was probably the Arabs who left the strongest trace of themselves . It was in fact they more than 1,000 years ago who gave a strong impetus here to the art of pottery, with techniques brought from the East.

This has meant that yesterday, as today, Caltagirone is renowned and appreciated all over the world for the beauty of its ceramics. This artistic air can be felt throughout the country, in fact, here and there you will see these beautiful colored decorations, which you can also buy in one of the many art shops.

Caltagirone seen from above
By philippe.hemmel – Caltagirone, CC BY 2.0

As for the town itself, Caltagirone was razed to the ground by the earthquake of 1693 and was then completely rebuilt in Baroque style . The entire historic center is characterized by this typical white / yellow / beige color, which lights up with the sunlight creating a sort of golden aura. Let’s now find out what to see in Caltagirone.

Tip from Topsecretsicily: You can also book a guided walking tour of Caltagirone that includes a view of the Roman Villa del Casale with its magnificent 3,500 square meters of mosaics. Included in the price you will also have a rich Sicilian brunch with typical products.

On the other hand, if you are looking for accommodation, you will find several discounted offers on this page.

1. Municipal Villa of Caltagirone

By Rino Porrovecchio – The villa along via Roma, CC BY-SA 2.0

The municipal villa was built in 900 and is certainly the right place, if you want to relax a little in the midst of nature and stroll among century-old trees and exotic plants.

2. Old round

The old tondo is a decorative work created in the 18th century to celebrate the opening of the adjacent road , which was once called via Carolina. Work made even more beautiful by the presence in the surroundings of ancient buildings and a beautiful square just in front of it.

Old round, Caltagirone
Old round – By Davide Mauro – CC BY-SA 4.0

3. Bourbon prison

Bourbon prison, Caltagirone
trolvag , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The Bourbon prison of Caltagirone is a sort of museum within a museum. The former prison built at the end of the 18th century houses the Luigi Sturzo Civic Museum, which houses paintings and archaeological finds. The building itself is truly fascinating inside, with a beautiful view from above on Caltagirone and a slightly macabre room, the torture room.

The museum is open Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm and from 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Wednesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 13:30. Free entry. Times and prices may vary.

4. Cathedral of Caltagirone – Cathedral of San Giuliano

Caltagirone Cathedral
Hein56didden , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

THEThe Cathedral itself, already impressive and noteworthy, is located in a very beautiful architectural context, surrounded by ancient buildings and overlooking Piazza Umberto I. It has a somewhat troubled history, it was founded by the Normans, then transformed in 1582, then destroyed by the earthquake and subsequently rebuilt in the early eighteenth century.

5. Town Hall Square

By trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0

Not far from the Duomo is the Piazza del Municipio , where you can find the town hall in a building from the 1700s, the Sturzo Gallery with its internal mosaics and the Baroque Gravina palace. A few steps from the square you arrive at perhaps the most famous monument in Caltagirone, the Scala d S. Maria del Monte .

6. Staircase of S. Maria del Monte

Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, Caltagirone
By Michal Osmenda CC BY-SA 2.0

The staircase, consisting of 142 steps, was built in 1608 with the intention of connecting the lower part with the upper part of the city. In the 1950s it was rebuilt in lava stone embellished with the typical and colorful tiles of Caltagirone. At the top you will find the church of Santa Maira del Monte and you will enjoy a beautiful view over the city.

Curiosity : in May the feast of the infiorata takes place on this staircase. Many small vases containing colorful flowers are arranged in such a way as to form peculiar figures in homage to the city’s co-patroness.

For the feast of St. James on 24 and 25 July the staircase is instead filled with many colored candles, arranged in such a way as to create figures in honor of St. James.

7. The Churches of Caltagirone

Let’s go and discover the churches of Caltagirone now, obviously not all of them, since there are so many. The most beautiful and fascinating are listed below , inserted in particular contexts that enhance their beauty. They have all been built or rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 and therefore date back to a period ranging from the eighteenth to the nineteenth century.

S. Maria del Monte

Church of Santa Maria del Monte, Caltagirone
By trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0

The church is of Santa Maria del Monte is located between beautiful buildings, ancient houses and overlooks a small square of red bricks. Here there is also a small bar where you can relax after the effort made to climb the steps below. As previously said, from here you have a really nice view of Caltagirone.

By trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0

Churches of S. Domenico and SS. Savior

Church of San Salvatore, Caltagirone
Church of San Salvatore By Carlo Pelagalli, CC BY-SA 3.0

The two churches are located in a very nice corner of Caltagirone and face each other a short distance away. The church of San Salvatore houses the tomb of Luigi Sturzo, who founded the Italian Popoalre Party in 1919.

Church of S. Giorgio

Carlo Pelagalli , CC BY-SA 3.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Even the church of San Giorgio is inserted in a very suggestive urban context, among all those typical nineteenth-century houses and cottages. It was first erected by the Genoese in 1030 and then it was destroyed by the earthquake of 1694 and was subsequently rebuilt.

Church of S. Chiara and Church of the Gesù

Floor of the church of Santa Chiara, Caltagirone
Paving of the church of Santa Chiara
Church of the Gesù, caltagirone
Church of the Gesù

The small church is very particular, in fact it is characterized by a beautiful floor with typical Caltagirone tiles. Not far away is the Church of Jesus with the adjoining Jesuit college, which established a prestigious university in Caltagirone at the time.

Behind the church there is a very nice square, even if used as a parking lot.

St. Francis of Assisi

Church of S. Francesco d'Assisi, Caltagirone
By trolvag, CC BY-SA 3.0

The church of S. Francesco d’Assisi annexed to the convent as the church of the Gesù, was built in 1226 in the Gothic style, modified in the 16th century and then rebuilt after the earthquake in the Baroque style.

8. Bridge of San Francesco

Ponte San Francesco, Caltagirone

9. Top Secret Place – Panoramic Point

Caltagirone
Source: Google Maps

The viewpoint is located right near the east car park, where it is recommended to leave the car. After parking, you will have to walk to the very nearby Via dei Cappuccini (above elevated from the parking lot) and from here you can take fantastic photos of Caltagirone.

The exact viewpoint is however indicated on the interactive map, which you find towards the end of the article.

10. Monumental Cemetery

Monumental Cemetery of Caltagirone
By Davide Mauro – CC BY-SA 4.0

The cemetery is located more decentralized than the historic center. It is an unusual place to visit as a tourist, but the Gothic-Sicilian architecture that characterizes it (dating back to the second half of the nineteenth century) is very beautiful. Not a place to see at all costs in Caltagirone, but if you have the time and desire it is certainly a special experience.

11. Villa Patti

Villa Patti, Caltagirone

Villa Patti, built in Venetian neo-Gothic style, is located in an area with numerous beautiful historic villas, of which it is the only one open to the public. Inside there is an interesting ceramic museum and outside a large garden / wood where you can take a nice walk.

Hours: opening from Tuesday to Saturday from 9.00 to 13.00

Activities loved by tourists in the surrounding area or in Sicily in general

Interactive map of Caltagirone – Points of interest in purple

To locate yourself once in the area, click on the zoom in symbol at the top right of the map.

What and where to eat in Caltagirone

Cuddureddi, Caltagirone
Giovanni from Catania, Sicily , CC BY-SA 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

Good fromage is produced in Caltagirone, and macco di fave, a kind of broad bean soup, is also very common in the Enna and Caltanissetta areas.

The cuddureddi are instead the typical sweets of Caltagirone, which resemble buccellati (also widespread in the area of Enna and Caltanissetta) but differ in the dough and the filling. The dough is in fact thinner and they are filled with chopped almonds.

Other dishes and products refer to the culinary culture especially of the province of Catania, of which Caltagirone is part. Here you find what to eat in Catania and surroundings .

Here instead i typical Sicilian dishes .

Where to eat in Caltagirone

Where to eat? There are many good restaurants in Caltagirone; it is recommended to evaluate in person, perhaps reading online reviews before going in.

However, excellent fish can be eaten in the Il Locandiere restaurant in via Luigi Sturzo. A certainly original place to eat is located in a beautiful farmhouse in the open countryside between Caltagirone and Niscemi, La Casa degli Angeli 20 minutes by car from Caltagirone.

What to see around Caltagirone

Caltagirone is located in the province of Catania. Here you will find the places to visit in Catania and surroundings .

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