What to see in Caltagirone: an idea for an excursion from Catania

catania caltagirone

It rises up on three hills next to the Erei mountain chain. The historic side is famous for the manufacturing of ceramic, that here becomes an authentic artwork. And it has a really ancient history. This is Caltagirone, an idea for an excursion during hour holidays in Catania.


What to see

  • The historic center – Rebuilt after the terrible earthquake in 1693, today it preserves its baroque beauty. The main places to visit in the historic center are the Museum of Ceramic, San Pietro’s church, San Francesco di Paola’s churc (both recognizable from the entrance).
  • Via Roma – A very central street, here there are some of the most important religious and civil buildings of the town: the baroque church of San Fancesco di Assisi; the San Francesco’s bridge, built in the Seventeenth century to connect two hills; Sant’Elia palace, where there’s a beautiful sight of city and bridge.
  • Caltagirone cathedral – It’s in Umberto I square and it’s one of the main attractions of the city. Dedicated to San Giuliano, it dates back to the Middle Ages and it was rebuilt different times during its history. Today, its main peculiarity is the Liberty façade, a unique characteristic for a religious building.
  • Santa Maria del Monte’s staircase – The real symbol of Caltagirone. It was realized by the local ceramists, and with its 142 steps it connects the lower side of the historic center to the highest. The staircase has all the typical colors of the local ceramic: green, azure and yellow.
  • The ceramic – It’s also used to embellish other buildings, as the central station and Villa Patti.
  • The monumental cemetery –  It’s about three kilometers far from the town. It was declared a national monument thanks to its Latin cross plan, capitals, and the precious decorations and sculptures.
  • The archeological sites – On the northern side of the city there’s the Sant’Ippolito site: here two ancient villages were found, one that dates back to the Neolithic and one to the Bronze Age. On the south side there’s the Greek built-up area of Santo Mauro mount.


How to reach

Caltagirone is in the province of Catania, and it’s easy to reach from the city:

  • Take the state road 192
  • Follow the road signs to Gela/Caltagirone and then take the state road 417
  • Follow the road signs to Caltagirone/Santa Maria di Ganzaria
  • Take the state road 124 and follow the road signs to Caltagirone

We suggest to you to board your own car or motorbike on a ferry to Catania: the trip lasts about a hour by car.


More information

For further information about the excursions in Caltagirone and all its tourist attractions (churches, monuments etc…), you can visit the official site of the municipality of Caltagirone, Comune.caltagirone.ct.it.


Image source: Flickr.com/photos/25393766@N00

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