Enna - Piazza Francesco Crispi
Enna is the heart of Sicily, a province embodying all the features that make Sicily unique.
You can walk among the ruins from past epochs and still feel the same vitality from centuries ago, under the same blue skies.
You can stroll in the woods and discover enchanted places, taste unbeatable cuisine and still find the flavors of ages past.
Last but not least, you can amble for country fairs, learning the traditions of the people.
Woods and pine trees, oaks and beech trees, and havens with willows, elms and poplars color the uplands of a broad valley where the famous Sicilian oranges and lemons grow.
Water basins big and small interrupt the expanse of green, creating an enchanting scenery of intense blue hues of water lit up by sunlight.
Enna is called the “Province of Lakes”, the only one among all the Sicilian provinces without an outlet to the sea; instead, it has the greatest number of lacustrine basins.
Reminders of ancient rulers are scattered all over the territory as evidenced by the archeological excavations that testify to the Greek-Roman period, and the castles and medieval towns to the passage of Normans, Swabians and Aragonese.
Precious architecture reveals the expansion of the Baroque styles from the eastern coast to the internal lands.
This land is generous also in terms of flavors, and offers typical specialties that reflect the passion and hard work of man.
If you wish to travel through the pearl of the Mediterranean, do not forego a stop at the window onto Italy, the “Belvedere” (or overlook) upon which ”clouds fly and the setting sun shines” (Guido Piovene).
Enna is ideal if you want to take a voyage into ancient history, yet stay within a natural environment.
Here, the populace's detailed historical memory harks back to the Roman period, and the unbelievable colors of nature make Piazza Armerina a great embarkation point to explore the rest of Enna Province.
In its central square, you will see forty splendid and perfectly-preserved mosaics embellishing the grand cathedral. The cathedral is composed of various venues opening out around the main courtyard that sits in the middle of eighteen marble columns or peristyles.
The Villa is considered the best example of artwork from the Roman era, and has been proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The place exerts an irresistable fascination, especially with its ancient villages holding interesting surprises within.
The Cathedral, designed by Orazio Torriani, can be sighted from afar, its majestic framework and dome rising up towards the infinite skies. Though its façade is sober and refined, it displays a finely decorated portal, flanked on each side by three columns each, leading to two wide staircases.
Not far away is Aidone, a village set on a hill, where the narrow streets, small stairs and courtyards design an ancient urban fabric.
In its territory you will find Morgantina, one of the most important archeological excavation sites.
The remains of a theatre, residential buildings and farmhouses, all arranged around the agorà (the central square of the Greek polis) bear witness to the Hellenic period lived in these lands.
Among the bright yellow hues of wheat, and green fields of red of poppy flowers, you enter into a marvellous landscape of Lake Pergusa, where a curious purification process initiated by the lake's microorganisms periodically colour the waters with reddish hues.
In the province's higher altitudes you will see picturesque borgoes, very typical for their ancient, narrow alleys and streets and for particular works of art to admire here and there.
At Leonforte, the architectonic value is linked to the name Branciforti. The Granfonte fountain with water bubbling from its 24 spouts, and the Palazzo Branciforti are worth visiting.
You will find the Mother Church of Assoro very interesting, along with the imposing Sperlinga Castle, with its houses hanging on to the rocks along with Cathedrals of Nicosia and Troina.
Enna is located in the very center of the territory, dominated from above by the Lombardia Castle and its imposing towers, from which you can enjoy a breathtaking view. Queen Eleonora of Aragon had set the first brick for the Cathedral, rebuilt after the fire that almost destroyed it completely.
From outside you can see the three overlapping bodies of the structure as they rise majestically towards the sky.
The three interior naves are marked by two colonnades that create a harmonious contrast with the clear stone of the overhanging arches. Surmounted by a 17th-century wood ceiling, frescoes, sculptures and stuccowork form part of the sumptuous interior decoration.
The capital is also the seat of the Archeological Museum of Palazzo Variano with its rich collection of findings that narrate the history of Enna, from the Brass Age to the Middle Ages. Finally, the Alessi Museum displays works of art and archeological findings.
The thick woods and lakes characterizing this land are a great gift for those who wish to spend a holiday in the midst of nature.
Trekking or easy walks, horse rides or mountain biking are the best ways to immerse yourself in these uncontaminated landscapes, with the possibility of relaxing on the green fields that mark out the lacustrine banks.
The Altesina and Scalpello mountains and the Giangagliano stream offer interesting naturalistic itineraries penetrating into the rich vegetation that spreads out in the midst of eucalyptus trees, pines, oaks and beech trees.
Lake Pergusa is a rich bird fauna area.
Herons, coots, wild ducks, buzzards and blackbirds attract the attention of the most passionate bird-watchers.
The lake ambience of Olivo, Pozzillo and Ogliastro become attractive themes, especially towards evening, especially for photographing beautiful sunsets.
If you are a motorsports fan, the Pergusa Autodrome is the spot for you, with its frequent rallies and historical automobile events.
Enna is also the land of festivals, country fairs and historical commemorations. Ancient Ennese traditions never fail to make themselves heard or felt.
Nicosia is the city where the Gara del Palio competition is held, in which all the confraternities of the city's 12 quarters contend for a trophy.
And the Standard of Our Lady of Victory is the coveted prize for which the four medieval quarters of Piazza Armerina compete during the Palio dei Normanni.
Leonforte has dedicated particular attention to its specialties, and the “Peaches and Typical Products Fair,” now in its 28th edition, is proof of its popularity.
If you visit Leonforte's center at night, check out the Regabulto Carnival, a festival of colors, masked characters and music.
Local gastronomy is characterized by simple dishes with very rich flavors that reflect a prevalently agricultural zone dedicated to sheep farming.
Vegetables, oranges and lemons, eggs and cheese, cleverly blended together, appear in many local recipes.
Pasta with macco (mashed broad beans), cauliflower or broccoli, new beans, carrettiera style or eggplants and tomatoes condiment pasta and other products from the land, creating a simple but perfect fusion that will please even the choosiest taste buds.
Wild asparagus are a great local taste, and so are the slightly bitter chicory and wild fennel which lend their own particular flavor to many of Enna's unique recipes.
Baked or grilled pork, lamb and goat meat, and strong cheeses, of which the Piacentino and the cottage cheese stand out, complete the Ennese menu.
Not to mention the fantastic biscuits and cookies like the vucciddati, stuffed with dried figs, honey, fruit candy and roasted almonds, or the cannateddi very typical of Easter celebrations where abundant meals are crowned with a Sicilian pastry, accompanied – if you wish – by a little glass of limoncello, finocchietto or noceto liqueurs.
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