• Salvatore Fuda

The heart of Sicily "Enna"

Enna, or "Castrogiovanni" from the ancient name of the city, is the only province in Sicily that does not overlook the sea. It is located in the geographic center of the island at an altitude of over 900 meters above sea level, and has about 26,000 inhabitants. The city has millenary origins, and in its long history it was a stronghold of Greeks, Sicans, Syracusans, Romans, Byzantines, Berbers, Spaniards and Bourbons, before becoming a province of united Italy.

The symbol of Enna is certainly the Castello di Lombardia, which stands on the highest point of the city, at 970 meters above sea level. It is one of the largest medieval castles in Italy, with an area of 26,000 square meters, and its name derives from the Lombard soldiers of Sicily who defended the castle at the time of the Normans.

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Enna, thanks to its long and complex history, can boast a series of very interesting monuments and buildings in a few square kilometers.

Enna Cathedral

The church of Maria Santissima della Visitazione, or more simply the Cathedral of Enna, is the mother church of the city, and is located in the city center, overlooking a small but elegant square. Inside there are splendid works by artists of the caliber of the Flemish Guglielmo Borremans and the Italians Filippo Paladini and Vincenzo Roggeri. Built in the early 1300s, the cathedral of Enna contains a mix of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque styles, due to the numerous renovations that have taken place in different eras. On the outside it has a large facade surmounted by the bell tower, on which the huge 101-quintal bell stands. On the right side of the church it is interesting to observe the door of the Jubilee, which today is walled up, with a valuable Sicilian Gothic style architecture. Inside, the Cathedral of Enna manages to amaze thanks to the splendid wooden coffered ceiling of the main nave, the richly decorated apse with stuccoes and frescoes, and with a series of chapels in which splendid paintings can be admired.

Another of the main symbols of the city of Enna is the Tower of Frederick II, majestic and octagonal in shape, dating back to the Middle Ages. Although it is not certain, it is thought that its construction is due to Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, the Swabian emperor who decided to build it at the beginning of the 13th century. The tower is 27 meters high, and is located on a small hill in a dominant position. Inside there are two large rooms, one on the ground floor and the other on the first floor, connected by a spiral staircase which then continues, reaching the summit, from which you can admire a splendid panorama of the city and the its surroundings.

Tower of Frederick II Reserve Pergusa Calascibetta

Special nature reserve of Pergusa lake

In the surroundings of Enna there is nothing better than a visit to the special Lake Pergusa nature reserve, a protected natural area located near the village of Villaggio Pergusa. The reserve has an area of 400 hectares and was created in 1995 by the Sicily region. It has a high naturalistic interest, as in its ecosystem there is an almost unique biodiversity, being the only wetland in central Sicily, and therefore a must for migratory birds and consequently for fans of these animals. To visit the reserve there are paths and rest areas with huts to spot birds. There is also an educational laboratory, located inside the Villa Zagaria.

Belvedere Marconi View

In the historic center of the city is the Belvedere Marconi, a panoramic square from which, on clear days, you can even see Mount Etna. The square dates back to 1927, when the fascist regime created a series of works that completely changed the face of the city, and overlooks a magnificent panorama of the surrounding mountains and countryside, from medieval Calascibetta to the peaks of the Nebrodi mountains.

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