Caltagirone is an area located in the center of the Sicily, near Catania. The story of this town is very interesting and full of traditions. I think it’s very important to go there to capture the deep soul of Sicily: you will learn many historical and mythological curiosities. It’ll be amazing to lose yourself amongst the Hellenic and the Saracen buildings and works. Have you even heard of the ceramics of Caltagirone?
A couple of years ago, a really famous Italian brand of clothes, Dolce & Gabbana, took inspiration for its collection from the ceramics of Caltagirone … and it’s a way to understand the importance of these potteries! These stylists motivated their choice with the phrase: “A product’s quality is more important than money”. Dolce & Gabbana also inserted some crochet works, another Sicilian tradition, into the same clothes collection.
The pottery of Caltagirone
I have already talked about the Arabic influence on Caltagirone’s history. The connection between these two cultures is so deep it also explains the name of the town: it seems that “Caltagirone” is morphologically linked to the Arabic noun “qal’at”. And there’s a legend that links these cultures too, depicted on potteries of Caltagirone: the story deals with a white girl and a black boy that fall in love. She loved spending her time cultivating plants and he one day declared his own love for her. She was in love with him too but later she discovered that the boy already had a family in the east and he wanted to go there. From that time, the girl planned a murder: the murder of her lover. She killed him while he slept and then she cut off his head, using it as pot to grow a basil plant. This was for her the only way to never lose her lover.
What to do in Caltagirone
Caltagirone’s history is not the only reason to visit the city. You can find a really good panoramic view if you go up the scala di Santa Maria del Monte steps. The view is superlative!
If you have more time to visit the town and you don’t know what to do in Caltagirone, another must is the Museo dei Cappuccini. It’s an ancient convent where you can admire many historical finds. This Museum is now also a school.
In the top list of what to do in Caltagirone we have the ponte di San Francesco (S. Francesco’s bridge) too. It’s located in the downtown of the city and it’s very romantic! Its walls are built with the Pottery of Caltagirone.
Restaurants in Caltagirone
And now let’s talk about restaurants in Caltagirone. My first choice? No doubt, you must go to “Il locandiere”! It’s located in the center of the town, near the “scala di Santa Maria del Monte”. The food is amazing: I recommend the fish menu. You can ask about the menù a base di antipasti di pesce caldi e freddi (hot and cold fish appetizers menu), it’s the best! A good dessert is semifreddo al pistachio (pistachio semifreddo).