Guide District Hinterland

Enna top

Enna

Navel of Sicily, Enna is the highest city/town of Italy, with its 931 meters altitude. Inside it, a strong medieval layout retains fascinating monuments, first of all the Castello di Lombardia (photo), very imposing, which offers a 360 degree panorama that encompasses almost the whole Sicily. By the castle is the fortress of Ceres, where there was one of the most famous shrines of ancient Sicily: the one dedicated to the goddess of fertility Demeter (or Ceres).

Enna

Many medieval buildings of Enna welcome visitors, such as the interesting museum in Gothic-Catalan style. Of particular interest is the Cathedral of Enna, fourteenth century, a perfect example of medieval religious architecture.

In the lower part of Enna is the beautiful nature reserve of Lake Pergusa (photo), naturalistic and archaeological paradise. According to a legend its "cave" says was the place from which Hades, the god of the underworld, came out to kidnap the beautiful Persephone, the goddess of fertility.

 

The Morello Valley top

Valle del Morello

The Sicilian hinterland has wonderful places like this, places that for more than 20 years I have been studying and exploring riding my motorcycle, a great link between mood and landscape. The Morello Valley is an uninterrupted succession of water courses, pastoral landscapes, medieval towers, evidence of prehistoric Greek and Roman age. The photo shows a mysterious figure carved into the rock and could correspond to the mother goddess. The Morello Valley is located between the provinces of Villarosa and Calascibetta. Contact me for more details.

 

Centuripe, Agira and Assoro top

Centuripe

They are three of the most important Sicilian places of ancient history, now reduced to semi-deserts inland villages. How things change! The three villages, which are very close to each other, still show evidence of the past. Assoro, among the other things, has one of the most beautiful Norman churches (Basilica di San Leone) I've ever seen (photo).

 

Le cassatelle di Agira top

Le cassatelle di Agira

Incomparable chocolate desserts with an almost secret recipe.

 

The Mount Altesina top

Il monte Altesina

The Altesina is a 1192 meters high mountain on the top of which we can find remnants of an ancient city. Of extraordinary scenic beauty, the Altesina is the place from which the Arabs in the tenth century BC divided Sicily into three valleys: Val Demone, Val di Mazara and Val di Noto.

 

Sperlinga and Nicosia top

Sperlinga e Nicosia

They are two beautiful villages, two pearls of the Sicilian hinterland. Nicosia is one of the main centers, and in addition to beautiful and aristocratic palaces, it has a famous cathedral in the monumental Piazza Garibaldi. The wooden roof of the Temple of Christ has wonderful paintings and marble sculptures inside.

Sperlinga is a troglodyte city in the middle of the twenty-first century. Its castle (photo) entirely carved into the rock is a unique example in the world.

 

Morgantina top

Morgantina

In the hearth of the Sicilian hinterland, lies one of the secrets of world archeology, Morgantina, in the province of the medieval Aidone. The site was inhabited since 2000 BC but its ruins of ancient Greek make it one of the most interesting sites of Sicily. The theater, the Agora, the famous house with Eiexey (welcome in greek, photo) written on it, the shrines, the kilns, the abattoir, and what is still coming out, excavations are in progress, make Morgantina an essential stop. After this it is impossible not to visit the archaeological museum of Aidone.

 

Piazza Armerina and the Villa Romana del Casale top

Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina is a monumental city of stone, wonderful, a symbol of medieval Sicily. It contains many points of interest: churches, palaces, monuments. Its surroundings are among the most interesting places of the hinterland: Montagna di Marzo and Monte Navone are as usual a triumph from an archaeological point of view and for their landscape.

Not far from Piazza Armerina, is the so called “Statio Philosophiana” (photo), a break area of the Roman period along the road connecting Agrigento to Catania. Here the visitor, can eat, sleep, pray, and enjoy the stunning thermae.

Piazza Armerina

The Villa Romana del Casale is the largest, most prestigious and important example in the world of musive art (mosaics) of the Roman period. Of uncertain date (probably third century AD), the villa boasts a sequence of rooms with beautiful mosaics. A striking example that takes the traveler back in time. Among the most important paintings probably the one showed in the picture: the first bikini in history (photo).

 

Caltanissetta top

Caltanissetta

Provincial capital, Caltanissetta is the city of “belvedere” given its central locaton it is a lookout for the entire island. Of particular interest in Caltanissetta are its archeological sites: Sabucina and Capodarso over all. The prestigious Mineral Museum deserves a visit too.

 

Le Solfare top

Solfare

The history of Sicily passes through the sulfur that in theis area (between Agrigento and Caltanissetta) is abundant and made Sicily the leading world producer, at least until early ‘900. Today you can follow on the footsteps of the miners along the archaeological tourism route. Contact me for more details.

 

The center of Sicily top

Centro Sicilia

The central Sicily is a place that has two distinctive landscape features: endless fields of wheat and unobstructed horizons.

These places are frequently joined together by so-called “regie trazzere” (royal country roads) (photo). It's a wonderful experience to visit them today, on horseback, on foot or by 4 weel drive. Contact me for more information.

Centro Sicilia

Laces and Mussels: almost all the inland mountains count ruins of ancient cities, one of the best experiences a visitor can have in Sicily. Once at the top, the hinterland gives an unforgettable landscape that satisfies the soul. You can walk through the ruins among prehistoric pottery (photo), Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, medieval ...

Centro Sicilia

Fish and shell: the mountains of the Sicilian hinterland are the surfaced bottom of the Mediterranean Sea of 5 million years ago (it’s a long story, if you wish to know it, contact me). Shells, fossilized coral and fish are another of the incredible surprises of the center of Sicily.

Hospitality: Sicilians are hospitable people especially here in the hinterland. Respect for the visitor comes from traditions. It is not unlikely that a Sicilian of the hinterland, invites you to his dining table. The opportunity should be taken at once.

 

The area around Mussomeli and Sutera top

Mussomeli

Almost in the center of Sicily, Sutera and Mussomeli are two scenic locations. The beautiful sandstone, which offers unforgettable views of the Middle Ages, is not the only attraction of the two villages. Polizello and Raffe (photo), for example, are two archaeological sites set among an agricultural landscape.

 

The Sicani Mounts top

Monti Sicani

The Sicani are a mountain range in south-central Sicily. They have many geological, naturalistic and archaeological areas.

The fortress of Entella (photo) is a huge boulder that has hosted one of the historical populations of Sicily: the Elimi. In the province of Countess Entellina there is also an interesting karst cave.

The Cammarata Mountain: also known as “twin mountains” almost reach 1600 m above sea level. Very beautiful the protected area in which they fall.

Santo Stefano di Quisquinia: is one of the villages of the Sicani Mountains. It has a beautiful eighteenth-century monastery and is surrounded by a oak forest, the legend goes that it was the last refuge of Santa Rosalia, patron saint of Palermo.

Bosco della Ficuzza: see Corleone (District Palermo Trapani).

 
Giovanni e Silvana

Never alone, always with a Sicilian at your side. Ask the writer and the chef for the Sicily you want: Click here

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