|The province of Catania
Caltagirone (Zip Code 95041) is 115 Km. distant from Agrigento, 86 Km. from Caltanissetta, 77 Km. from Catania, which is the province it belongs to, 67 Km. from Enna, 173 Km. from Messina, 228 Km. from Palermo, 68 Km. from Ragusa, 105 Km. from Siracusa, 288 Km. from Trapani.
Photo © Reti e Sistemi
The municipality counts 38.200 inhabitants, its surface measures 38.277 hectares, and its population density counts 100 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises over a rocky hilly area, 600 meters above the sea-level.
The Town Hall is located in piazza Municipio n. 5, tel. ++39 933 41111 fax. ++39 933 41329. E-mail address is: email@example.com.
Situated over a hill overlooking the valley if the homonymous stream, Caltagirone boasts a conspicuous production of citrus fruits, grapes, cereals, and olives.
The local handicraft activity is relevant, producing beautiful artistic ceramics colored of green, blue, and yellow, and majolica objects exhibited at the annual Handcrafts Exhibit-Market held in the month of June. Cattle breeding, as well as sheep and goat farms, are flourishing.
Photo © Municipality of Caltagirone
The name Caltagirone derives from the Arab term Qalat-Jerun, that means "Castle of the burial grounds" because of the presence of vast necropolises throughout the territory. The first inhabited center rose in the surroundings of a castle during the Greek era.
In 1030, it was conquered by a colony of Ligurians headed by the Byzantine general Giorgio Maniace. In 1090, Count Ruggero D'Altavilla took possession of the suburb and christianized it. Approximately during 1458, a Parliament was assembled and it nominated Giovanni d'Aragona prince of Caltagirone and King of the Reign of Sicily.
The earthquakes of 1542 and 1693 completely destroyed the town, and the new rebuilt center followed the baroque style thanks to the interventions of several architects such as Rosario Gagliardi (1682-1762), Francesco Battaglia (1701-1778) and Natale Bonaiuto (XVIII century).
Between 1622 and 1800, the town was seat of the University deli Studio founded by King Filippo III. Approximately in 1800, the town was risen to episcopal residence.
Photo © Estate in Sicilia
Architecturally, the most interesting monuments are the Norman Duomo, dedicated to S. Giuliano, preserving beautiful paintings by Francesco Vaccaro (1802-1882), the Chiesa del Collegio erected by the Jesuits in 1593, and the Chiesa di S. Giacomo reconstructed after 1693's earthquake.
Very relevant are also the Chiesa di S. Maria del Monte made precious by its big staircase, rich of polychrome majolica, that connects the town's two parts, the Corte Capitaniale preserving noteworthy windows and portals by the artist Gagini (1478-1536), and the Chiesa di S. Nicola dated 1700, today's is seat of the Sicilian Ethnologic Museum.
It is important to remember that Caltagirone is seat of the Museo Regionale delle Ceramiche (regional museum of ceramics) since 1965.
A famous citizen from Caltagirone was the noteworthy democrat Luigi Sturzo (1871-1959).