Caltagirone is famous throughout the world for its pottery, which is due to the abundance of excellent quality clay in the area, and over a thousand years of tradition.
The methods, techniques and style of the pottery from Caltagirone have been modified and refined over the centuries due to Greek and Arabic conquest, making the their pottery one of the most unique in the world.
Ceramics can be seen all over the city – along walls, bridges, balconies and in buildings. A great earthquake in the 17th century generated a cause to rebuild the city in a very unique way called Baroque style. In order to protect its splendid Baroque building and churches, the town has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Visit http://www.sicilyincoming.com/caltagirone.html to learn more.
Scala di Santa Maria del Monte
The Scala di Santa Maria del Monte is one the most visited and photographed areas of Caltagirone. A vast staircase of 142 wide steps, decorated with Caltagirones famous pottery, this is not a site to miss.
Best times to visit to “La Scala” are on 24th and 25th of July and 14thand 15th of August, when candles and 4000 cylinders of coloured paper holding oil lamps form a tapestry design. At 21.30 h on these nights hundreds of young people come into action to light the lamps, so that the staircase flares up all at once.
Visitors and tourists are very welcome to participate. Make sure to walk the stairs hungry, because some of the best restaurants and pizzerias are on the way up! One notable restaurant called Pizzeria la Scala boasts some of the best Sicilian pizza on the island.
Museo della Ceramica – Ceramics Museum
In case you don’t see enough of Caltagirone’s famous pottery and ceramics throughout the town, there is a museum which displays the millennium old tradition of the towns pottery.
Located in the beautiful town park, the museum features one of Sicily’s most extensive pottery collections. On display is pottery from Neolithic finds, terracotta ware from the 5th century BC to 18th century nativity figures, floor tiles, majolica tiles – an immense collection of ancient and modern terracotta and pottery.
The Vittorio Emanuele Public Garden
When visiting the Museo della Ceramica, it will be difficult to miss the Caltagirone public garden, known by locals as The Villa Comunale. The garden was designed by Giovanni Battista Basile based on the English garden model.
It is one of the most beautiful areas of the town, with many beautiful trees and plants, as well as incredibly ceramic statues, vases and fountains. Perhaps the perfect place for a nice relaxing walk, the Vittorio Emanuele Public Garden will not fail to disappoint.