Caltagirone, Metropolitan City of Catania, Sicily, Italy

History | Geography | Tourist Industry

🇮🇹 Caltagirone is an inland city and comune in the Metropolitan City of Catania, on the island of Sicily, southern Italy, about 70 km south-west of Catania. It is the fifth most populous municipality of the Metropolitan City, behind Catania, Acireale, Misterbianco and Paternò. Alongside Catania, it is the only town who is seat of a tribunal in the former province. Since 1987, the comune has obtained the City title, through presidential act. After Caltanissetta, it is the second most populous comune in Central Sicily. The town is a production centre of pottery, particularly maiolica and terra-cotta wares. Contemporary production is more and more oriented to artistic production of ceramics and terra-cotta sculptures. Other activities are mainly related to agriculture (production of grapes, olives, peaches), third-sector activities and tourism.


History The city's name derives from the Arabic qalʿat al-jirār (قلعة الجرار, "castle of [pottery] jars") – a name that attests to the antiquity of the local pottery works and to Arab influence in the area before 1000 CE. are still thriving.

The area has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as shown by the presence of two necropolises dating from the second millennium BCE, and by numerous other archaeological finds. It was later inhabited by the Sicels, a people who predated Roman occupation and control.

Arabs built a castle here; in 1030 it was attacked by Ligurian troops under the Byzantine general George Maniakes. The current dialect continues to have traces of Ligurian language. The city flourished under the Norman and Hohenstaufen domination, becoming a renowned centre for production of ceramics.

The city was almost completely destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. Many public and private buildings were reconstructed in a Sicilian Baroque style. The city has an array of architectural resources and, together with the surrounding territory, is protected by the UNESCO World Heritage program.

During unification struggles, in May 29, 1860, the town was looted by the Bourbon army led by general Gaetano Afan de Rivera; they were fleeing from the Garibaldini forces towards Catania.

During the first part of the 20th century, the town was a stronghold of Italian Christian democracy movement, due to the presence of renowned politician Luigi Sturzo. Later, the town produced such nationwide politicians as Italian Prime minister Mario Scelba, and Sicilian president Silvio Milazzo.

Today, Caltagirone is a mid-tier Sicilian town. It is one of the 25 most populous towns in Sicily, and one of the 250 most populous in Italy.


Geography The municipality borders with Acate (RG), Gela (CL), Grammichele, Licodia Eubea, Mazzarino (CL), Mazzarrone, Mineo, Mirabella Imbaccari, Niscemi (CL), Piazza Armerina (EN) and San Michele di Ganzaria. Its hamlets (frazioni) of Albanazzo, Colleggiata (or Collegiata), Favarella, Granieri, Mulino Buongiovanni, Piano Carbone, Piano San Paolo, Rangasia, San Basilio – Casa Prete, San Mauro, Santo Pietro, Serra Fornazzo, Signore del Soccorso, Villa Gravina and Villa Grazia.


Tourist Industry A collection of ancient and modern pottery and terra-cotta, dating to the Magna Grecia period, is shown in the local Museum of Pottery. The museum was created in 1965.

The main landmark of the city is the 142-step monumental Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, built from 1608 in the old part of the town. Each step is decorated with different hand-decorated ceramics, using styles and figures derived from the city's millennial tradition of pottery making. Once a year, on and around the day of the city's patron saint, (St. James, 25 July), the staircase is illuminated with candles of different colours. They are arranged to create an artistic display of several tens of meters.

Religious buildings include: • San Giuliano: Cathedral of Norman origin, dedicated to St Julian, with a twentieth-century art nouveau façade by Saverio Gulli. • San Francesco di Paola: Baroque church; the sacristy is in Gothic style, dating from before the 1693 earthquake. • San Francesco: Church dedicated to St Francis of Assisi, built originally in 1236 and rebuilt in Baroque style after 1693. The façade has two orders with marine symbols and a statue of the Immaculate (Virgin Mary). The dome is unfinished. • Chiesa del Gesù: Church of Jesus, built by Jesuits. (1570). The façade has eight statues portraying saints and the Madonna with Child. The interior, one a single nave, houses a Pietà by Filippo Paladino (1607) and Christ's Nativity by painter Polidoro da Caravaggio. • Santa Maria di Gesù: adjacent to Franciscan convent, with Madonna statue by Gagini • Santa Maria del Monte (12th century). • The Renaissance Church of the New Capuchins, in white stone, with a noteworthy treasure and a picture gallery. • San Giacomo • San Giorgio - church contains an altarpiece attributed to Rogier van der Weyden • Also noteworthy is the Palazzo Senatorio (15th century), the former Town Hall.

Caltagirone, Metropolitan City of Catania, Sicily, Italy 
<b>Caltagirone, Metropolitan City of Catania, Sicily, Italy</b>
Image: trolvag

Caltagirone has a population of over 38,390 people. Caltagirone also forms one of the centres of the wider Catania Metropolitan City which has a population of over 1,107,702 people.

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Twin Towns, Sister Cities Caltagirone has links with:

🇩🇪 Arnsberg, Germany 🇭🇷 Rijeka, Croatia 🇺🇸 San Francisco, USA
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license

Antipodal to Caltagirone is: -165.5,-37.233

Locations Near: Caltagirone 14.5,37.2333

🇮🇹 Vittoria 14.533,36.95 d: 31.6  

🇮🇹 Ragusa 14.732,36.926 d: 39.9  

🇮🇹 Enna 14.267,37.55 d: 40.8  

🇮🇹 Modica 14.761,36.859 d: 47.6  

🇮🇹 Caltanissetta 14.063,37.49 d: 48  

🇮🇹 Catania 15.083,37.5 d: 59.5  

🇮🇹 Acireale 15.166,37.613 d: 72.4  

🇮🇹 Agrigento 13.586,37.303 d: 81.3  

🇮🇹 Barcellona Pozzo di Gotto 15.221,38.148 d: 119.9  

🇲🇹 St. Paul's Bay 14.402,35.948 d: 143.2  

Antipodal to: Caltagirone -165.5,-37.233

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 17994.8  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 17411.3  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 17340.1  

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 17327.4  

🇺🇸 Hilo -155.089,19.725 d: 13588.2  

🇺🇸 Maui -156.446,20.72 d: 13501.5  

🇺🇸 Maui County -156.617,20.868 d: 13487.8  

🇺🇸 Wailuku -156.505,20.894 d: 13483.2  

🇺🇸 Kahului -156.466,20.891 d: 13482.9  

🇺🇸 Honolulu -157.85,21.3 d: 13457.3  

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