Central Sicily

Splendid mosaic in Piazza Armerina

Unperturbed from the typical mass tourism flooding Sicilian coasts, Central Sicily boasts a different atmosphere than any other Sicily destinations.

This territory hosts isolated mountain villages, such as Enna, Nicosia, Leonforte, Aidone and Sperlinga, lying on hilltops and offering therefore stunning views of Nebrodi Mountains, Plain of Catania and even Mt. Etna.

Within this fascinating contest of “Sicily without sea”, ancient farming traditions, pasture, cultivated fields, rural farms and abandoned mines witness how farming, mining and sheep-farming have led local economy for many years influencing landscapes and people’s lifestyle even today.

The charming Enna, called from the ancient Greeks “Umbilicus Siciliae” (Sicilian navel), sits in the hearth of this area. Situated at nearly 1000 metres above sea level on a hill overlooking Dittaino valley, the town has wonderful panoramic views of the surrounding area as well as an amazing medieval town centre with historic castles, towers and ancient palaces.

About 30 km far from Enna, Piazza Armerina – a important town hosting both medieval and baroque areas to explore – stands nearby the renowned “Villa Romana del Casale”, a stunning Roman complex famous for its prestigious frescos and mosaics. Greeks and Roman ruins can be found even in Morgantina archaeological site, situated near Aidone.

In 1834, mining powered Central Sicily economy; here, numerous sulphur mines (“Solfatare”) spread from the interior province of Agrigento to Caltanissetta. Most of them disappeared when mining lost importance, but some important traces of those mineral complexes still remain today: abandoned sulphur mines, holes and tunnels mark the quiet and bare Central Sicily landscape even nowadays. Most of the mining tradition’s traces, most of all those lying in the Floristella-Grottacalda Mining Park, are important contemporary tourist attractions.

Sights at a glance

Enna

A mountain town – at 931 m (3.054 ft) the highest provincial capital in Italy – in antiquity Enna was first Greek, then Carthaginian and finally Roman. It remained a Byzantine stronghold even after the Arab conquest of Palermo. Thanks to its exceptional position, Enna boasts splendid views and even different temperatures than other Sicily places, like a cool climate in summer.

We suggest to visit:

The Cathedral

Castello di Lombardia

Torre Federico II

Museo Archeologico

Museo Alessi

San Francesco d’Assisi site

Palazzo Pollicarini

Chiesa di Santa Chiara

Piazza Armerina

In the middle of an area inhabited since the 8th century BC, Piazza Armerina developed in the middle Ages, a period marked by frequent clashes between the local population – strongly influenced by the centuries of Arab domination – and the Latin conquerors. After the huge devastation wrought in the 12th century by battles between these two factions, Piazza Armerina was recreated around the Colle Mira hill. A new, massive defensive wall system was built in the late 14th century, but the city soon spread well beyond this into the surrounding hills and slopes.

We suggest to visit:

Aragonese Castle

The Cathedral

I Mosaici

Villa Romana del Casale

Museo Diocesano

Piazza Garibaldi

Palazzo del Senato

Chiesa del Priorato di Sant’Andrea

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