City of Enna
Territory - The city of Enna, known as the highest Capital of the Province in Italy, has about 29,000 inhabitants and comprises 19 municipalities. In this regard, the City of Troina, is one of the highest of Sicily with over 1200 m above sea level. The province of Enna, boasts of excellence. The city is home to the prestigious University "Kore". The Dittaino Valley is home to the Industrial Pole of Enna, the principal of the province, while in Pergusa, the racetrack with the same name is an internazionale sports center. The territory of the Province of Enna is characterized by the presence of a rich heritage of Nature Reserves including the Natural Reserve of Sambuchetti, Campanito, the Natural Reserve of Rossomanno, Grottascura, Bellia and the Natural Reserve of Monte Altesina. Its landscape is dotted with a large natural system, defined and protected by the Natural Reserve of Monte Capodarso, but also by a rocky and mining system. On the Side of the Imera Valley infact, you will find the most important and sulphurous mineral reserves of potash and the known mine of Pasquasia. With regard to the lakes, really important the Pergusa Lake, the only natural lake in Sicily and Lake Pozzillo, the largest pool on the island. The territory of Enna is enriched by forest resources, wildlife and hydrogeological in the Nebrodis.From the historical and archaeological point of view, the area shows points of great importance, whose relics are preserved in the various museums of the Province. In reference to the Food and wine tourism, Enna features of typical products related to the agro-pastoral tradition.
The main monuments - Before presenting the route of the main monuments to visit in Enna, it’s worth of recall the important archaeological site of the Villa del Casale, Piazza Armerina, which, since 1997, has been recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The Villa, with its magnificent mosaics, was recently opened to the public after a long period of restructuring. Another symbol of exceptional uniqueness, a UNESCO "Peace Monument" is the mother church of the city, the Cathedral of SS. Visitation. It’s located in the historic center of the city, Piazza Mazzini. The Church, built in 1307, is characterized by the presence of its imposing doors. The Holy Door is opened in correspondence to the cross aisle, on the right side of the church where you can admire the portal of St. Martin. The Door of the Jubilee, in Gothic style, has a large arch topped by the beautiful statue of Our Lady with the Child Jesus. Another side door is the door Sottana, whose two Corinthian columns are topped with marble bas-relief depicting the late Renaissance "St. Martin and the Beggar" of Gaginis. The interior of the cathedral is a Latin cross with three aisles. Of great value is the chapel with a statue of Our Lady of the Visitation, enriched with diamonds and colored gemstones.
Among the other churches of the city, you can admire the Church of Santa Maria del Gesù of Montesalvo; the Church of the Holy Souls; the Church of St. Joseph; the Church of St. Clare; the Church of St. Thomas.
Among the major monuments and historic buildings of Enna stands the Castello di Lombardia*, the symbol of the city, definited one of the largest medieval castles in Sicily. Built by Frederick II of Swabia and enriched later by Frederick II of Aragon, the castle was the most important point of defense of the city, thanks to the rock on which it’s perched. From the entrance door leads to the first courtyard, known as "the square of the armed men". By accessing the Gate of the Chain, you approach the "court of Mary Magdalene", which houses the outdoor theater. In the second and third yard, thers’s the “square of St. Nicholas”, seat of the royal apartments. From the square you can see the Tower of Pisa, one of the six remaining of the original 20. (Source: website of the City of Enna). The Tower of Frederick II, stands on a hill at the western end of the city. It’s assumed that the construction of the building dates back to Frederick II of Swabia, given the unique geometric structure that characterizes the other castles built by him. The tower has been built in the shape of an octagonal prism 24 meters high. Inside it has two overlapping circles, connected by a spiral staircase. Near the tower, inside and outside of the wall, stood a complex of buildings, some of which had a purely military function.
Of great importance is the cultural Literary Park "Nino Savarese", dedicated to the great writer born in Enna.
Among the museums, Enna houses the “Museo Archeologico Regionale” di Palazzo Varisano; the Museum "Musical Art 3M", Via Roma n ° 533. It’s the first multimedia museum of Art in Sicily and the only Sicilian museum that promotes art through a fascinating and exciting musical show with images; The Museum "Faith and Tradition of Enna", located in Via San Leonardo, No. 11. The building, built at the behest of the Confraternity of the Most Holy Passion, promotes the traditions and sacred objects related to the tradition and the rituals of Holy Week Enna.
A BIT OF HISTORY - The history of the city of Enna, revolves around its strategic position as a military stronghold. Enna, infact, is located about 900 m above sea level, and it’s geographically located in the center of Sicily. Therefore, the people who settled there since prehistoric times took advantage of the high plateau of the city to the lookout and military defense. Enna was originally a fortress of Sicana origin. Subsequently, with the advance of the Sicilians from the east, the city was ruled for five centuries by the union of these two populations. Enna was later conquered by the Greeks, whose testimony is given by the sanctuary of the goddess Demeter. In 395 a. C., was dominated by Syracuse led by Hiero II , the Carthaginians and the Romans during the Second Punic War (214 BC.). In Roman times the city was free to market their food resources throughout the island, due to the fertility of its territory, called the granary of Sicily. In 535 fell under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. Until '858 Enna remained under the military and administrative control of the Byzantine. The Arab period was, as in the rest of the island, to the development and revival, to the point of becoming the new capital of the Muslim island. After 15 years of siege, in 1087, the city was handed over to Count Roger, thanks to a treaty with the Saracen commander, Lord of Girgenti and Castrogiovanni. In the hands of the Normans, the city becomes Castrogiovanni, for the devotion of the people in Saint John. In 1130 Roger II had restored the ancient fortress sicana, now known as the Castello di Lombardia. Under the Angevin, the great Frederick II, King of Sicily and the Holy Roman Empire, the city was built in the octagonal tower. The Angevin domination culminated in 1282 as a result of the Sicilian Vespers. With the advent of Aragon, Enna enjoyed a prosperous period of development and which ended with the Spanish conquest and worsened with the presence of the Bourbons in Sicily in 1738. In 1861 Giuseppe Garibaldi urged Enna to join his expedition. In 1926, the Duce Benito Mussolini decreed that the city became the capital of the province. In 1927, the city, which until then was known as Castrogiovanni, finally resumed the old name of Enna.