/ / Caltagirone: photo description (Caltagirone)

Caltagirone: photo description (Caltagirone)

Caltagirone is a small town of Sicily in the province of Catania 70 km from Catania. According to the census of 2004, there were about 40 thousand people. Caltagirone is one of the eight towns of the Val di Noto, a UNESCO world Cultural Heritage site by UNESCO for their unique architecture in the style of "Sicilian Baroque".

The town's name comes from the Arabic word "call at - al - Giran", which means "Hill of Vases". It was inhabited by people in the prehistoric era, as evidenced by the two necropolis, dated to the second Millennium BC, and numerous archaeological finds. The Arabs built in Caltagirone castle, which in 1030 was attacked by Ligurian troops under the command of the Byzantine commander George Maniac. In the years of the domination of the Normans and the Hohenstaufen dynasty in Sicily, the city flourished, becoming a recognized center for the production of ceramics.

Among the interesting attractions in Caltagirone, it is worth noting the Museum of pottery, created in 1965, where a collection of ancient and modern earthen and ceramic wares, including, to the era of Ancient Greece. Not less interesting are the religious buildings Caltagirone, such as the Norman Church of St. Julian, on the facade which worked Saverio gully. The Baroque Church of San Francesco di Paolo is notable for its sacristy, built in the Gothic style before the earthquake of 1693 that destroyed the city. The New Capuchin Church was built of stone in the 12th century and the Church of San Francesco d Assisi in 1236. The latter was rebuilt in the Baroque style. Its facade is decorated with nautical symbols. Finally, the Gesu Church of the late 16th century, stands out by eight statues of saints and Madonnas, installed on the façade and inside you can see the painting by Filippo Paladino's "Pieta" and a picture of polydorus da Caravaggio's "Nativity". Another significant structure of the city is the Palazzo Sentria built in the 15th century and served as the town Hall.

But perhaps the main landmark of Caltagirone can be called majestic staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, 142 steps built in 1608. Each tier is decorated with unique hand-made ceramics using different styles and numbers. On the day of the patron Saint of the city of St. James - July 25 - the stairs light the candles, which are arranged in a special way to play the pattern size of several tens of meters.

Because Caltagirone is famous for its pottery, majolica and terracotta, it is still possible to buy a variety of exquisite gifts from these materials. In addition, in the vicinity of the city grow grapes, olives, and delicious peaches.