68 km from Catania at 608 meters above the sea level, there is one of the Sicilian pearls Caltagirone.
Caltagirone is famous for the production of hand-made ceramics, particularly maiolica and terra-cotta wares. Production of grapes, olives and peaches is also typical for this region.
In the city you can visit Museum of Pottery which is dedicated to the history of pottery, where you can see a collection of ancient and modern pottery and terra-cotta, dating back to the Magna Grecia period.
The biggest attraction of the city is 142-step monumental Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, built from 1608 in the old part of the town. The speciality is that each stair is decorated with different hand-made ceramics, using styles and figures derived from the millennial tradition of pottery making.
During the summer there are lots of concerts in Caltagirone, theater performances and dance celebrations, but the most important event is on 24 and 25 July each year called La Luminaria – feast of San Giacomo, saint patron of the city. The staircase is illuminated with candles of different colours arranged in order to reconstruct an artistic drawing of several tens of meters.
During the winter Caltagirone is much more picturesque thanks to the temperature differences between day and night, that often rise to a dense fog, familiarly called “A Paisana“.
The historical center of Caltagirone extends along two main streets: Via Roma and Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Here you can see beautiful baroque buildings, including Palazzo Gravina, and the norman Basilica di San Giacomo which houses precious works of art.
However the city offers much more and it really worth to see it.
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