Gela is a town in the province of Caltanissetta in the Italian region Sicily, with 75 618 inhabitants ( 31 December 2012).

Location and data

Gela is situated on the Mediterranean Sea and is 84 km from the provincial capital Caltanissetta away.

Gela is the center of the oil refinery and port town. It can be reached from Syracuse and Caltanissetta with the railroad. Mayor of Rosario Crocetta is at the top of a center- left coalition, which became known nationally because of his struggle against the Mafia.

The neighboring municipalities are Acate (RG), Caltagirone (CT ), Butera, Mazzarino and Niscemi.


Gela was once one of the most important Greek settlements in Sicily. To 688 BC, the city was founded by Dorian colonists from Rhodes and Crete, 45 years after Syracuse. It was named after the river Gela. From Gela from large parts of Sicily were Hellenized and from here was also the foundation of Akragas. Archaeological research has a large number of artifacts unearthed in the village and the surrounding area that are shown in the Archaeological Museum of Gela. Both archeology and ancient literature provide excellent sources for the early history of the area.

Gelon, son of Deinomenes from the family of Deinomeniden was in the 5th century BC Regent in Gela and Syracuse. He was commander of the cavalry, as the tyrant Hippocrates of Gela in 491 BC and died Gelon became his successor. 485 BC, when he had taken the opportunity to become tyrant of Syracuse, he deprived the city of his attention and gave them to his brother Hiero, who in turn 478 BC succeeded him as tyrant of Syracuse.

Aeschylus died here in 456 BC. Was built in 405 BC Gela was conquered, plundered and destroyed by Carthage. Gela was then rebuilt, but BC again and this time completely destroyed in the year 280 of the Mamertines. Phintias of Akragas moved the surviving residents of the day Licata.

In 1233, the city of the Emperor Frederick II by the name Terranova di Sicilia was newly established. It retained this name until 1928, when it received its original name.

Gela had until 1962 a private airfield ( 37.12888888888914.317222222222 ⊙ ), which was used by the military during the Second World War along with three other neighboring airports. Because of their importance in 1943 they were a priority target of the Allies during Operation Husky. The city of Gela was conquered by the Allies on 10 July 1943 and became the first liberated city of Italy.

1956 have been discovered in the vicinity of Gela oil wells and the townscape today is characterized by refineries, industrial plants and housing developments. In addition, the city developed into a stronghold of the Mafia.

The acting mayor since 2003 Gelas Rosario Crocetta fights actively against the Mafia. Thus, the leadership of the football club Gela Calcio was deposed by the mayor, for example, in the summer of 2005, shortly before the president of the football club has been arrested for extortion, drug trafficking and mafia contacts. Today Gela is considered a city with the most stringent anti-mafia laws of Sicily.

Buildings in and around Gela

From the historical point of view, especially the districts of Molino a Vento and Capo Soprano are interesting.

In Molina a Vento was the Greek Acropolis. This settlement remains were excavated from the 7th century BC and dedicated to two of Athena Doric temple. In the vicinity there is the Archaeological Museum, founded in 1958, with an extensive collection of ancient coins, with Corinthian and Attic vases and statues in terracotta. The parish church of Chiesa Madre from the 18th century was built, among others, from the stones of the temple in Molino a Vento.

In Capo Soprano are the remains of the 12 -kilometer-long city wall, which was built at the end of the 5th BC century from Kalktuffblöcken and increased after 339 BC with unbaked bricks. The wall remains were buried in the sand dunes and were only uncovered by excavations again. From the ramparts and the remains of three watchtowers have been preserved. In addition, they discovered the remains of a necropolis dating from the 5th century BC and a horseshoe-shaped building with thermal seat pan in the Greek style.

The castle Castelluccio from the 14th century is widely visible on a hill, 7 km north of Gela.

Beach promenade in Gela

Tower of Manfria

Sunset in Manfria


  • In summer classic tragedies are listed in the excavation sites.