Caltagirone is a city in the Province of Catania in the Italian region Sicily, with 38 259 inhabitants ( 31 December 2012). Caltagirone is one of the Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, declared by Unesco as a World Heritage.

Location and data

Caltagirone is located 74 km west of Catania. The inhabitants work in industry and agriculture.

The neighboring municipalities are Acate (RG), Gela (CL ), Gram Michele, Licodia Euboea, Mazzarino, Mazzarrone, Mineo, Mirabella, Niscemi (CL ), Piazza Armerina (EN) and San Michele di Ganzaria.


As early as the prehistoric people inhabited the area around Caltagirone. Necropolis, which date back to the 2nd millennium BC, are proof of this in the field of community also remains of a Sicel settlement have been found.

The present city was founded in the 9th century by the Arabs, who built a fort here and called Qalat al- Ghiran ( castle above the caves ). The fort was captured by a group of Ligurians in 1030, they could see the city but not to last. Even after the conquest of Sicily by the Normans 1061-1091 Caltagirone was Arabic. 1161 fled displaced Arabs from the neighboring villages to Caltagirone. Under the rule of Frederick II from the year 1207, the city continued to grow.

From the 15th century, the city of Caltagirone developed pottery. At that time, lived here about 20,000 people and about 1,000 practicing the profession of ceramist from. To date, Caltagirone is considered the " ceramic capital " of Sicily.

The 1693 earthquake in the Val di Noto destroyed the city. It was built at the same place over the course of about ten years in the style of the Sicilian Baroque again.


Caltagirone is one of the historic centers of ceramic production in Sicily. The production is demonstrated since the Neolithic period. Over the millennia suggestions were taken from the outside again. Since 1918 there is a state school of ceramics ( Istituto Statale d' Arte per la Ceramica " L. Sturzo " ), which was founded at the initiative of then Mayor Don Luigi Sturzo. It also offers specialized training in ceramic restoration. Ceramics from Caltagirone is marketed around the world.


  • Town Hall from the 19th century
  • Teatrino, built in 1792 to a design by Natale Bonajuto, today seat of the ceramics museum with a collection of ceramics of Sicily and seat of the Art Institute of Ceramics
  • Municipal Museum in the former Bourbon prison with exhibits of artists, sculptures, paintings and coins from the region
  • Cathedral of S. Giuliano Angevin origin, rebuilt in the early 19th century
  • Church of San Francesco di Assisi
  • Church of San Francesco di Paola
  • Church of Santa Maria del Monte
  • Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, built in 1606 and originally planned as a road to connect the upper town to the lower ( the 142 steps are covered with hand- painted ceramics since 1954, showing the history of ceramics creation)
  • Museum with original puppets of the Sicilian puppet theater
  • Giardino Pubblico, the city park in the style of an English garden with an artificial lake and Moorish bandstand
  • Patti Villa, built in 1900 in neo-gothic historicism


Detail view of the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

Chiesa Santa Maria del Monte

Villa Patti


  • End of May, the Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte decorated in honor of Maria Santissima dei Conadomini elaborately with flowers.
  • Every year on 24 and 25 July the stairs to the feast of St. Giacomo, patron saint of the city is illuminated with hundreds of candles and oil lamps.

Sons and daughters of the town

  • Niccolo Longobardi (1565-1655), Jesuit and missionary to China
  • Giuseppe Vaccaro (1793-1889), painter, sculptor and restorer
  • Luigi Sturzo (1871-1959), priest and politician
  • Mario Scelba (1901-1991), politician, Prime Minister of Italy
  • Francesco Angelico ( b. 1977 ), conductor
  • Giuseppe Mascara ( born 1979 ), football player
  • Nicole Grimaudo ( born 1980 ), film actress