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Caltagirone

Caltagirone is motherland of the Sicilian ceramics, famous for its traditional technique of modelling the ceramics and earthenware, for this reason the city is full of shops which sell many products of the Art of Caltagirone. Its origins date back to the Prehistory, but its height was under the domain of Byzantines, Arabs, Greeks and Normans, which had transformed it in a stronghold. Caltagirone is known also for his rich production of handmade cribs, realized in earthenware and a wide variety of materials. Many of them are collected in the Museum of Traditional cribs.

"La Sicilia è il paese delle arance, del suolo fiorito la cui aria, in primavera, è tutto un profumo... Ma quel che ne fa una terra necessaria a vedersi e unica al mondo, è il fatto che da un'estremità all'altra, essa si può definire uno strano e divino museo di architettura."

Guy de Maupassant, "Viaggio in Sicilia", 1885

What to see in Caltagirone

The Church of San Pietro is an extraordinary example of the decorative use of the multi-colour Majolica of Caltagirone which enriched its aspects in gothic style. As happened for the front of Museum of Ceramics, which collects about 2500 products from the IV Millennium BC to the contemporary age.

The Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte is the most majestic of these works. Every tile of the 142-step staircase  is decorated with unique and colorful design called “majolica”.Every year at the end of May, takes place the traditional “Scala infiorata” (Staircase of flowers), on the staircases are placed a lot of flowers which compound all together an unique big image. In addition, in occasion of the festival of San Giacomo, the patron saint of the city, on the staircase are placed a lot of candles/luminaries (“luminarie”) which are turned on the evening of the 24th and 25th of July and give birth to an amazing and suggestive paint of fair.

Enriched by the ceramics, the maximum expression of Baroque in Caltagirone are the belvedere Tondo Vecchio, over the way down of Collegio Gesuitico, in the theatres and in the Churches of SS. Salvatore and San Domenico.

Caltagirone is full of amazing surprises, we have spoiled you only a few of them.

Find out more:

The road to the city are:

  • Strada statale 417
  • Strada statale 385 di Palagonia
  • Strada Statale 124
  • Strada statale 683

Caltagirone is linked to Catania and Gela by a non-electrified and single track railway of RFI (Italian railway)

The Staircase of Santa Maria del Monta or commonly referred to as “La Matrice”
The Bridge of San Francesco
International Museum of The Crib in the Church of Signore del Soccorso
Abbey of Terrana
Monumental cemetery of Caltagirone
Cathedral of San Giuliano
Church of San Francesco d’Assisi
Church of Sant’ Agata
Church of Sant ’Andrea
Church of Santa Lucia
Castel of Geni
Archeologic dig of Sant’Ippolito
Necropolis of the mountain
Altobrando
Piano Casazze
San Mauro’s hill

Local Festivals in Caltagirone
Memorial Day for earthquake (11th of January)
Easter Passion Play (Palm Sunday)
Holy Thursday (visits in the Church at the sepulchre)
Good Friday (Mary and Christ’s procession)
A’Giunta (Easter Sunday)
San Francesco di Paola (25th of April)
Scala infiorata – flower staircase (on May)
A Rusedda (on May)
Maria Santissima Di Conadomini (31st of May)
Fireworks and Music Show (23rd of July)
Scala illuminata – light up staircase (24th and 25th of July, and 14th and 15th of August)
San Giacomo il Maggiore, the patron saint of the city (25th of July)
Maria SS. Del ponte (14th and 15th of August)
Festival of table grape (in Granieri, 26th of August)
Santa Lucia (13rd of December)
Cribs of Caltagirone (from 1st of December until 31st of January)
Biennale of ceramics (from 20th of December until 24th of February)

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