Caltagirone is a town located between the central area and the East coast of Sicily and 60 km distant from Ragusa , it is renowned for the production of ceramic which dates back to the Greek domination (Magna Grecia).
In 2002 the historical city centre began to be part of the UNESCO Heritage sites along with the Noto Valley.
Thanks to its particular structure Caltagirone is one of the most popular and interesting sicilian destinations.
WHAT TO SEE IN CALTAGIRONE
Caltagirone’s steps or Santa Maria Del Monte was built in 1608 to link the upper and the lower parts of the town. The peculiarity are the steps themselves which were made in basalt and each of them decorated with hand-made ceramic tiles. On this steps are often arranged markets and other events . Ultimately, the steps, lead to the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Monte which has a meaningful particular that represents the history of the inhabitants; the Altavilla Bell which was stolen from Muslims of Judica.
Caltagirone being one of the eldest towns in Sicily ,has a wide historical background. In fact, there are two main museums to visit; the Ceramic Museum where the 5,000 year history of caramic is thoroghly explained , and the Civil Museum which houses prehistorical rests , Greek-Roman coins and medieval statues.
The Church of San Pietro built in gothic style has a majestic bronzed portal and in each side two bell towers plated with ceramic tiles.
By the sides of the main street (Via Roma) other historical buildings can be admired such as; San Francesco d’Assisi’s Church rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake and added gothic features to it, of which dome was never completed. Il Ponte di San Francesco (Bridge) also embellished with the traditional hand-made tiles was built to bond the two parts of the town.
In conclusion, Via Roma leads to Umberto I Square where arises The Cathedral which was also reconstructed after the earthquake.