From the greek fortifications to the Second world war
It’s an ancient and historical plot, interesting in order to know and understand the war vicissitudes of the territory.
Into the city it is possible to visit what remains of the Timoleonte walls, built during the IVth century BC, and re-experience the Medieval atmosphere of the Castelluccio, a fortress wanted by Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, and located along the SS417.
Nearby are the bunkers built during the second world war and used in the bloody battle in Gela, after the landing of the Allies in the summer of 1943.
The necropolises of the Bronze age
The estimate is of over two thousands tombs in the Disueri necropolis, second after the one of Pantalica for importance and number. This kind of tombs, built on calcareous walls, is called “tholos” for its burial structure characterized by its false dome.
A few kilometres away, also the conglomerates of tombs of Grotticelle and Manfria witness the presence of the indigenous culture of the territory, then slowly disappeared after the Greek settlement in the VIIIth century BC. You can visit all of it and be surrounded by the nature and the beauty of the Sicilian landscapes: places rich in biodiversity.
Gela, an ancient necropolis to discover
Emblem of culture and civilization, Gela was one of the most flourishing metropolis of the Greek world. This Greek atmosphere can be inhaled by visiting the Timoleonte walls and the Greek public Baths, in the Capo Soprano area. The city gave hospitality to many ancient eminent personalities: the mathematician Euclid, the ruler Gelo, the tragedian Aeschylus to whom the Archaeological regional museum is dedicated. The museum conserves unique treasures, such as remains of Greek ships and orichalcum bars, a precious alloy estimated to be used in the construction of the legendary Atlantis. Important finds about the worship of Demeter, goddess of the harvest, give us an idea of the Sicilian fusion of religion and agriculture.
The mosaics of Villa Del Casale and the statio of the area.
The Villa del Casale, a few kilometres away from Piazza Armerina, help us to truly understand the costumes of the Roman Empire.
Built at the end of the IV century AC, it shines with the most beautiful and colourful mosaics in the roman world. Some parking areas for the travellers outlined the territory, the Statio Sophiana is the most important, located along the ancient road leading from Agrigento to Catania. Other similar areas and also farms and villages dedicated to the production of shingles and bricks, nearby Niscemi, Butera and Gela, witness the economic activity of the island.
The baroque, essence of Calltagirone
Caltagirone stands out for its unique beauty. Here, Arabs, Byzantines, Genoeses, Normans and Angevins have left something to make the town a singular place full of charm.
After the devastating earthquake of 1693 which took place in Val di Noto, many cities were rebuilt with a baroque style and they became world Heritage Sites. Caltagirone is one of those.
The extraordinary architecture can be admired by visiting the San Giacomo and Santa Maria del Monte churches, or walking over the bridge of San Francesco. Caltagirone, famous for the production of pottery, shows its magnificence with the 142-step monumental Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, the flooring of the palaces and the many small shops around the town.
It cannot be missed if you love art, beauty and culture.
Castles, fortresses and abodes
Towers and castles were either raised along the coasts in order to face the corsairs’ raids, or to be designated as aristocrat abodes. The tower of Manfria , built during the XVIth century, and the castle of Falconara were both built as protections of the coast from Gela to Licata.
Towards the hinterland, the Castelluccio stands out, and then there is the town of Acate, which is the location of the prince’s mysterious castle .