The province of Caltanissetta



A panoramic view of Caltanissetta
Photo © Walter Lo Cascio

Caltanissetta (Zip Code 93100) is the chief town of the province, it is 72 Km. distant from Agrigento, 126 Km. from Catania, 41 Km. da Enna, 229 Km. from Messina, 142 Km. from Palermo, 141 Km. from Ragusa, 191 Km. from Siracusa, 241 Km. from Trapani.

The municipality counts 62.881 inhabitants, its surface measures 42.035 hectares, and its population density counts 150 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises over an internal hilly area, 568 meters above the sea-level.

Photo © Walter Lo Cascio 

L`Abazia Santo Spirito

The City Hall is located in via Salita Matteotti n 1, tel. ++39 0934-74111/20000 fax. ++39 0934-582443. E-mail address is:

It is an important agricultural center, especially for the production of wheat, cereals, grapes, and almonds. Cattle breeding and sheep farms represent a relevant contribution to the town's economy.

The first installations had Sicilian-Greek origins, carried out by the inhabitants of Nissa, which the name Nissemi - denomination of the town's inhabitants - derives from.

Between the VIII and IX centuries, there has been a succession of Roman and Saracen dominations; the latter named this town Qal'at Nissa (Castle of Nissa).

In 1086, it became a Norman possession, with Count Ruggero, who founded the Priorato di S. Giovanni, after conquering the Arab Castle of Pietrarossa. During the XIV century, it belonged to the Ventimiglia and Chiaramonte families, until the town was conquered by the dynasty of the Moncada and Paternò families, in 1406.

Photo © Walter Lo Cascio 

The Church of S. Sebastiano

As of 1860, Caltanissetta experienced a remarkable financial growth in the mining field, thus becoming an important European center as per sulfur mining.

The most outstanding monument, of remarkable artistic-architectural relevance, is the Cathedral, dedicated to S. Maria la Nova and to S. Michele, erected between 1570 and 1622, decorated with plasters and frescoes by G. Borremans (1670-1744), that beholds wooden statues by Stefano Li Volsi (1625), marble statues by Vincenzo Vitaliano (1753), as well as a painting by Filippo Paladino (1818-99).

In front of the Cathedral, there is the Church of S. Sebastiano erected during the XVI century; it preserves a wooden statue of the Saint, and a painting by Tommaso Pallace, from Palermo.

The Church of S. Agata, also called Church of the Collegio, dated 1605, is noteworthy and it preserves the paintings by Cristadoro and A. Scilla, as well as sculptures by Borremans.

Another monument of the baroque period is the Palazzo Moncada, built between 1635 and 1638.

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