What to see in Caltanissetta

Dove si trova Caltanissetta

What to see in Caltanissetta


Caltanissetta is a modern and intriguing city, as well as the largest inland town in terms of population.

Situated above sinuous hill sat an altitude of 568 meters, it has a section of great interest in its historical center,where together with the major religious buildings,aristocratic palaces are imposed, a tangible sign of the importance Caltanissetta heldin the past.

Its name is derived from the Arabic “Qal-atnisa”, which means the Castle of women. Today called Pietrarossa Castle, located on a hill outside the town.

The celebrations of the Easter period are particularly felt, during the time in which the city to celebrates with typical processions a very scenic presentation of their faith, which for centuries has distinguished it.

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The Museums in Caltanissetta

The Archaeological Museum of Caltanissetta, about 3 km from the center, has been housed since 2004 on Via Santo Spirito. Until 1993, the Civic Museum guarded artifacts from sites of Caltanissetta (Pietrarossa, San Giuliano, Palmintelli) and the nearby areas, like Mazarin and Contrada Sabucina.

The exhibit is divided into 5 different areas in which archaeological finds ranging from the Copper Age (III millennium BC) until the sixth AD are displayed. Ornamental objects are mainly presented, made of ceramic and metal, as well as beautifully decorated containers and several statuettes of deities of the time.

The Mineralogical Museum and Palaeontology of Zolfatara of Caltanissetta is a most unique example in all of Sicily. Housed at the Technical Institute, is a rich display of mined stones, especially stones of sulfur which in the past represented a major source of export for the Sicilian economy. The hard work for the research of the sulfur will be easily understood thanks to the reconstruction of a mine at the time.

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Easter in Caltanissetta

Easter celebrations that take part in Caltanissetta embody the folkloristic Sicilian spirit par excellence, an event watch with curiosity and interest by many tourists and visitors.

The Real Maestranza opens the festivities on Holy Wednesday: representing the citizens of the orders, the ten tradecrafts that make it up go to the Cathedral to receive forgiveness of sins, each led by their captain. Atoned from their sins, the captain, representing an entire tradecraft, cuts off his black clothes to then adorn white clothing – symbol of purity.

Then the procession begins, which lasts until the afternoon with the arrival of the Varicedde.

The origin of the Real Maestranza dates back to the early nineteenth century, when, on a visit to Caltanissetta, the Bourbon King Ferdinand IV was impressed with the order and discipline of Maestranza. And from then on the city was known as “Real”.

Thursday night begins the most touching of the festivities, with the procession of the Mysteries, large papier-mâché floats depicting the phases of the martyrdom of Christ, are conducted through the streets of the city by 13 orders of the Real Maestranza.

On Friday, on the other hand the city units to celebrate the Black Christ, the oldest simulacrum in the city, the historic protector of the city and is still a symbol of theirintact faith, which Caltanissetta preserves. The golden palanquin is brought in procession with fogliamari, which in ancient times had to be sellers of medicinal herbs. Totally barefoot, they lead Christ through the city, chanting the “ladate” haunting cries of forgiveness in Sicilian and Latin.

Caltanissetta, present in all its forms of association, is embraced around the faith of Christ, in an atmosphere of faith and folklore which retains the essence of Sicily.

Historical Background of Caltanissetta

Archaeological finds show the presence of populations in antiquity, even if there isn’t any more detail news about it.

The city was conquered by the Normans after the long siege of the Castle of Pietrarossa in 1086 by Count Roger. He later became a bone of contention among the major lineages of Sicily: between the Chiaramonte and the Ventimiglia, who had got the better of the Moncada, who owned it from 1406 until 1812.

After the unification of Italy, the city of Caltanissetta found new vigor thanks to exploitation of the mining industry and the urban renewal of the inhabited center.

Caltanissetta Nightlife

The evenings run quiet in Caltanissetta, with a nice walk that are along the main streets of the historical center. In the city there are many reasonably priced pizza restaurants serving excellent dishes of the local cuisine.

For young people, the city and surrounding areas are not lacking pubs, clubs or discos where you can spend a sleepless night in the heart of Sicily.

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What to see in Acireale

What to see in Acireale

Dove si trova Acireale

As an elegant baroque town, a few kilometers from Catania, Acireale rises upon a hill that overlooks the Ionian Sea: The Timpa, from which there is a beautiful panoramic view down to the  Riviera of the Ciclopi.

Became well known for hosting one of the most famous of the Carnivals of Sicily, Acireale contains important sights from its noble past that certainly deserve to be seen.

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The Myth of Acireale


The formation of Acireale ties in with the myth narrated by Virgil and Ovid, of the shepherd Acis and the nymph Galatea.  According to legend, Aci was killed by the Cyclops Polyphemus, jealous of the love that Galatea felt for Acis.

Upon learning of the tragic death of her love, the nymph fell into heartbreaking cries that even the gods pitied.  To ease the pain of Galatea, the gods transformed the blood of Acis into a river (Akis) in order to reunite Galatea and Aci within the streams of water.

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The Carnival of Acireale


The Carnival ofAcireale has now become one of the most popular and colorful of Sicily.
The festivities go on for over a week, with flowered floats and parading masked groups in a joyful collegiate atmosphere.  The cars made ​​by various associations depict caricatures of historical and present-day personalities in mockery, contending the favor of the jury that will award the most beautiful wagon according to the category they belong.

The streets are crowded with people coming from all over Sicily, and soon are turned into carpets of confetti and streamers.  Small playgrounds and other attractions are especially built for children.  Because of its beauty and uniqueness, the Carnival of Acireale has been known for some time now as the most famous Carnival in Italy, the Carnival of Viareggio; and it is not to be missed.

Historical Background of Acireale


The town of Acireale owes its origins to the local populous who settled in the fertile area close to the sea with abundant fresh waters.

Colonized by the Greeks, it became a Roman town named Akis.  It was the Byzantines who most probably built, around the eighth century, the castle of Aci to defend against Muslim hordes.  In the medieval period, the town was the subject of numerous raids by foreign invaders, which is why many families left  Acireale to situate themselves in safer areas, and why the small towns that sprang up in the area still bear the initial Aci in their name.

The earthquake of 1693 was a dramatic event in Acireale, destroying most of the buildings of that time: however, the reconstruction, brought many noble palaces, wide streets paved in slabs of lava stone, and important monuments.  Lastly, in 1873, it was inaugurated as the prominent spa of Santa Venera.

Acireale by Night


The evenings in Acireale can be spent quietly and peacefully most all year round, except during the period of Carnival when the holiday becomes the focus of Sicily in Acireale. However, if you are lucky, you could happen to have the chance to attend one of the concerts of Italian and international singers, who usually perform in the sports hall.

Within its noble atmosphere and baroque style, Acireale offers visitors excellent restaurants and bars, as well as different types of accommodations to spend a few nights at the foot of Mount Etna. It could be considered a good stopover point on a trip through eastern Sicily or nodal point for visiting the most beautiful resorts that are located along the Ionian coast between Messina and Catania.


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The Beaches and what to see in Vulcano, Aeolian Islands

Dove si trova Vulcano

Volcano, the ancient Hierà (the sacred), is the closest island to Sicily, it is a fascinating volcanic phenomena that has made itself a destination for the more adventurous tourists.

The island of Vulcano is made up of five magmatic structures which combined together give shape to its current conformation. Although in constant ferment from volcanic activity of nearly two thousand years, Vulcano has come to a phase of rest from the eruptive activity, although there has been, in the recent years, the phenomenon of emissions of ash and lapilli.

This should not strike any fear into the visitor. Vulcano hides wild and beautiful natural landscapes of incredible beauty. Since 2000 the entire island has become a protected area of the Natural Reserve of Vulcano.

The Beaches and what to see in Vulcano, Aeolian Islands


For those who love taking photographs that will frame the memory of their vacation, or simply of stunning views, Capo Grillo offers the opportunity to enjoy the wider Vulcano landscape with the horizon that encloses all the Islands.

The famous mud of Volcano, at the Port of Levante, is popular with tourists for the known healing properties for the skin, despite the strong smell of sulfur that at first glance might annoy. Before arriving to the main beach in Volcano, near the stacks, we can witness a curious volcanic phenomenon: the gurgle of marine waters.


Port of Ponente joins Port of Levante by a narrow strip of land, where the sea takes on a wonderful emerald, while the black beach owes its color to the volcanic ash. From there it is not far to reach Vulcanoello, a small crater formed around 180 BC, from which different eruptions have continued through the centuries.

Having given birth to the Valley of Mostri, it is an area where the lava stones have assumed unusual and bizarre forms that appear to reproduce the shapes of animals and mysterious figures. In the southern part of the island you should not miss a dip in the waters of the beautiful beach of Asino.

The Beaches and what to see in Stromboli, Aeolian Islands

Dove si trova Stromboli

The island of Stromboli is characterized by an increased volcanic activity among the Aeolian Islands, giving visitors the chance to see spectacular eruptions throughout the year. The volcanic phenomenon, characterized by the launch of ash and lapilli, does not however, constitute a danger for those who are going to come to Stromboli: effusive eruptions in fact, are carried away by the so-called Sciara del Fuoco, keeping safe the buildings of the few inhabitants.

Although the furthest away from Sicily, on the island of Stromboli, remnants have been found dating back to settlements of about 3000 years ago. Today the population has a very limited number of people, about 500, who live in small picturesque houses.

Since 1997 the island has been under the protection of the Natural Reserve of Stromboli and Strombolicchio.

The Beaches and what to see in Stromboli, Aeolian Islandi

The landing point for the hydrofoils is Scari, in the northeastern part of the island, connected by a paved road to the two most visited places on the island: Ficogrande and Piscità . However, there are more private beaches where you can enjoy relaxation and tranquility, don’t be too surprised to find some beaches where people prefer to get a more complete tan.

The sea here in Stromboli has a dark, almost mysterious appearance, but the waters are crystal clear and refreshing. The black beaches become very hot during the hottest hours of the day.

A hike to the summit will be an unforgettable experience: you get to the top (900 meters) after a few hours of walking along rough trails, made even more difficult by the volcanic earth that makes the trail slippery and difficult for the less experienced.

From the summit of Stromboli you can see the view over the whole island, almost untouched. For professionals however, it can be exciting to make the climb at night, with the glow of explosions that light up the night sky. In both cases, you should always be accompanied by a licensed guide.


Thanks to the location of Stromboli and its constant volcanic activity, the island is particularly attractive for discerning holiday-makers; families looking for tranquility as well as seasoned hikers who cannot resist the urge to climb the peak. Even in Stromboli, the kitchen and the facilities maintain a high standard of quality.

On the western side of the island lies the small village of Ginostra where time seems to have stood still: the population is not equipped with electricity and lives off the cultivation of the lands while the transport of goods is done with the help of animals.

Finally, on the north-east there is the large stack of Strombolicchio, 43 meters high, the mouth of an extinct marine volcano, reachable by boat.

The Beaches and what to see in Salina, Aeolian Islands

Posizione di Salina

Salina, at the center of the Aeolian Islands, is second in size and number of inhabitants. Its almost rectangular form is due to the two lava cones that constitute it; both have been extinct for a long time. The lack of volcanic phenomenon, together with the abundance of fresh water, makes the island of Salina the greenest of the Aeolian archipelago.

The island’s name seems derived from a small coastal lake, located in the southern tip of the island, once used for its salt. While enjoying the enviable habitats, natural trails of the highest esteem, and a sea rich in fish, Salina enjoys a certain peace even during periods of maximum tourist inflow. It is good for those looking for sun, nature and relaxation.

The Beaches and what to see in Salina

The island is divided into three different areas: Santa Marina, Malfa and Leni.

Santa Marina, located on the east coast, is the main anchoring point of Salina. Here the coast is presented with beautiful long pebbly beaches, some of which are more reserved. To be noted is the Emigration Museum, in memory of the inhabitants of Salina who made a journey to Australia and America in search of greater fortunes.

Malfa is centrally located on the north coast of Salina. It’s the largest of the three island towns and the location of some of the major hotels on the island. Here the coast is higher, with a steep cliff and very suggestive sea. Further east lies the small town of Pollara, besides an old crater, it is ideal for those wishing to spend days in total tranquility, where at the end of the day you cannot help but admire the unforgettable sunsets.

Rinella, in the south of Salina, has a small harbor which is the arrival point for many tourists. The beach is beautiful, and where the promenade in the evening is filled with people. Placed near the center of Leni, it is about 15 km from Santa Marina. Nearby, in the small bay of Pra Venice, accessible through a path of lava stone, one deserves a nice swim.

The Nature in Salina

Already since 1984 the island of Salina was safeguarded by the establishment of the Natural Reserve of The Mountains of Felci and of Porri. Here, the vegetation has now colored much of the island becoming the primary source of livelihood for the population: its famous capers are grown in large quantities and exported abroad, while the vines produce the excellent Malvasia dessert wine, product of DOC famous worldwide.

And it is possible to enjoy beautiful natural scenery thanks to the trails scattered throughout the island. In fact, it falls within the territory of the Natural Reserve of The Mountains of Felci and of Porri. Walking along these paths it should not be too difficult to reach the summit of Mount Fossa of Felci, the view that opens in front of you is totally unique.

Thanks to the central location of Salina it is possible to have the full view of the archipelago: to the west Filicudi and Alicudi, Lipari and Vulcano in the south, while to the north and east are Panarea and Stromboli.

Salina by Night

Although Salina is not famous for its nighttime revelry, there are plenty of places where one can get something to drink, dance, and spend the night until dawn. There are well taken care bars and clubs, a bit on all sides of the island.

Excellent restaurants where the main dishes are of fish can be found here too, proclaiming the excellence of the place: and at the end of the meal do not forget to enjoy a glass of Malvasia.

The Beaches of Panarea and what to see, Aeolian Islands

Dove si trova Panarea

Panarea, the smallest of the Aeolian Islands, is elegant and restless, beautiful by day, but incredibly alive at night, the place most preferred by the big names in fashion, from players and showgirls, to movie stars and music artists.

Ditella, St. Peter and Drauto, the three centers of the island, are located on the east coast of Panarea. The most beautiful beaches are concentrated on this side.

The Beaches and What to see in Panarea

The beach of Kalkara near Ditella, is famous for its volcanic stacks that rise out of the sea. Further south, however there is the small but cozy beach of Cala Zimmari. From there are natural trails to walk leading up to the top of Punta del Corvo (400 meters).


Punta Milazzese to the south has the remains of a village dating back to the Bronze Age. The archaeological remains are now kept at the Museum of Lipari (mainly pottery) which confirms the connections of those ancient times of the Aeolian Islands with the most important centers of Ancient Greece. Near Punta Milazzese there is the beautiful bay of Cala Junco, placed between two high rocky cliffs, the perfect place for scuba diving in the crystal clear waters of Panarea.

On the north-east of the island, there are little islands that are worth visiting: Basiluzzo is the largest, in which were found important remains of Roman houses, with traces of mosaic floors. Smaller but equally beautiful are the islets of Dattilo, Lisca Bianca and Lisca Nera, Bottaro, Panarelli e le Formiche. Since 1997, the island has been protected as a Natural Reserve of Panarea and Scogli Viciniori.

Panarea by Night

The evenings of Panarea are famous and sometimes the only reason why people prefer Panarea to the other islands. Hotel and club parties are organized in much selected locations, elegant but full of fun, so as to attract people from the other islands for the night. You can dance until dawn, when the sun’s rays begin to play with the colors of the clear waters of Panarea.

It’s a great choice for young people, for those who want to have fun in the evenings of the Aeolian Islands and for those in search of new experiences.

The Beaches of Lipari and what to see, Aeolian Islands

Dove si trova Lipari

Lipari is the largest, most famous and lively island among the Eolians.

The town of Lipari, set within the picturesque Marina Lunga and Marina Corta inlets, is divided into a high and a low part, with the powerful castle guarding it from its panoramic position.

The high part still keeps ancient features, impregnable promontory with a relevant strategic value. The low part concentrates accommodation facilities, public places and shops: the most important street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, entirely pedestrian area, which connects the two ports situated at the opposite sides of the town.

The Beaches of Lipari

On the Lipari island, there are many places, one close to each other, which deserve a sightseeing: Canneto, Spiaggia Bianca, Porticello and Campobianco are marvellous places, where the crystalline sea attracts thousand tourists to get a bath in its clear waters.

Cannetto, small village distant around 3 km from Lipari, offers a long, quiet sandy beach. More withdrawn is Spiaggia Bianca, where sand and pebbles coexist. Porticello is a gravelly bay on the northern coast of the island. Campobianco, so called for its whiteness, shows one among the most beautiful sea floor in the whole archipelago.

The southern coast of the island offers Valle Muria’s beach, well served, assuring all kinds of comforts.

What to see in Lipari

The Aeolian Archaeological Museum

The Eolian Archaeological Museum, also located in the inner part of the old Lipari’s walls, gathers various evidences brought to the light by escavations in the ancient part of the town. It contains many pavillons, buildings and – both due to the number and the good state of conservation of the artifacts – one of the most important ones in Sicily.

The upper floor of the ancient Benedectine Monastery, later become Archiepiscopal Palace, reveals the section gathering the archaeological findings of the Prehistoric Age. Here you can see many oxidiane flakes elaborately worked-out and ceramic sherds finely decorated.

The Epigraphic Pavillon keeps dozens inscriptions, mainly names of dead people derived from the town’s necropolis.

The Pavillon of the Minor Islands exhibits in four halls the findings pertaining to the other Eolian islands: here the main part of the evidences concerns grave goods and many sherds too.

The Pavillon of Classical Archaeology, gathering artifacts from Milazzo and Sea Archaeology, is surely the most interesting building to the visitor’s eye. Various are the graves, showing the evolution of the funerary cults: from the cremations’ tombs, saving the dead people’s ashes, to Greek sarcophagi and tombs made up with bricks from the Roman Age. The craters, fat pots showing dionysiac scenes depicted in red, are many. Dionysus was the God of ecstasy and drunkness.

The pottery collection is rich: the sacral ones, among them small statues of Demeter and Kore stand out, are really nice. Excellent the collection of theatrical terracottas, used at the theatre during the Greek Age. There are happy, funny and dramatic masks and other ones related to the New Comedy either.

The Sea Archaeological Section is famous for it contains ancient wrecks. Ships sunk quite often around the archipelago, due to the sea floor protruding on the surface. Amphoras and pottery dating back to different periods of the ancient times, belong to the collection too.

The Vulcanology Section obviously can’t be missed in the Eolian Island. You can find a first section dedicated to volcanism in general, followed by another one showing a detailed reconstruction of the peculiar Eolian volcanism phenomena. Each island has a room dedicated to it own.

Lipari by Night

Since the touristic stream in summer is remarkable, surely Lipari can’t be boring. Even before sunset, you can find Corso Vittorio Emanuele crowded with young people taking their first aperitif. It’s a good idea to have dinner outside, since restaurants are excellent: of course, the most beloved dishes are based on fish – absolutely fresh.

For people who can’t live without music, or just decide to spend their evening along with its company, there’s a plenty of clubs and discos situated in charming positions.

The Beaches and what to see in Filicudi

Dove si trova Filicudi

Filicudi, located in the west of the archipelago, is perhaps less well known than the other islands, but no less enchanting. Its name seems to derive from the abundant ferns once present on the island.

Slightly oval in shape, it has only one true settlement, Filicudi Port: the rest of the island has maintained, due to the massive emigration of the fifties, the unspoiled look of the absence of man. In fact, even during the hottest periods of the year, Filicudi can boast of its calm and tranquility. Since 1997 the island has been able to count on the protection of its natural beauty thanks to the establishment of the Regional Oriented Natural Reserve Isle of Canna Filicudi and Rocks-Montenassari.

The Beaches and what to see in Filicudi

The highest peak of the island is Fossa delle Felci (773 meters), while at lower elevations are the other peaks, the Montegnola and the Torrione, once also volcanic mouths.

The coast of Filicudi is typically high and rocky, with some exceptions such as Pecorino Mari, which has a magnificent beach with pebbles. The north west has many places where you can take a dip in the water, but accessible only by boat: Centre Perciato, Scoglio Giafante and Scoglio Canna( 71 meters high ) which are usually the places where boats take long pauses while the visitors cool off in the clear waters of Filicudi. While on the southern slope one should visit the Grotto of Bue Marino, where in the afternoon the sun’s rays are reflected off the water, coloring the cave in blue.


Filicudi has a natural landscape that is still wild, observable thanks to the 22 trails that allow you to get around the island far and wide. One of these leads to the abandoned village of Zucco Grande: a surreal place, where nature dominates everything. The route starts from Valdichiesa, from where you can take yet another path, for the more sports-minded, that takes you to the top of the crater of Fossa delle Felci.

It is also worth mentioning, that in the southern part of the island, is the Prehistoric Village of Capo Graziano, whose findings are preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Lipari.

The Beaches and What to see in Alicudi

Dove si trova Alicudi

Alicudi is the smallest island of the Aeolian Islands and the most peripheral, located on the western side of the archipelago. Its location and the policies of the national government (Alicudi was the site of a maximum security garrison) coincided, leaving it virtually untouched, where nature lives in harmony with the very few people on the island.

Since 1997, was set up the Regional Oriented Natural Reserve of Alicudi, which includes the whole island.

The Beaches and What to see in Alicudi

Its shape is almost perfectly conical; the result of a volcano that had its origins more than 1000 meters below sea level, but it has been inactive for a long time. The walls of the structure are very rugged and steepest in the western part of Alicudi, while on the eastern side you can see the old terraces, now abandoned. On the same side, note the church of San Bartolomeo, located in a picturesque location.

The findings, which came about in some cases, by means of pure luck, from the first settlements date back to the Bronze Age. Tombstones, made of lava stone, were also discovered here.


The landing point is at the ramp of the Palomba, where land mostly backpackers and divers: if you are looking for unspoiled natural scenery, Alicudi might just be the best choice. There are no paved roads, the facilities are entrusted to a few inhabitants and any form of accommodation would be out of place. It is an idyllic place, where you will only hear the echoes of the sea.

The coastline is mostly high, with hidden coves, and beautiful volcanic caves. An exception is the short stretch of beach Pantalucci and pebble beach of Bazzina. The most characteristic feature is the Rock Jalera, on the western side, which is accessible by boat.

There are several walking trails which are not too difficult for those who are fit. For those who want to climb the crater of Alicudi, a natural trail starts right from the port, and then continues to a height of 675m, on the top of the Filo dell’Arpa.

Pelagie

Dove si trovano le Isole Pelagie

The islands of Lampedusa and Linosa, located between Sicily and the African continent, form with the island of Lampione, the archipelago of the Pelagie Islands, pleasant places that have now become famous thanks to the spectacular natural scenery that can be enjoyed here.

The beautiful rugged or sandy beaches, the clear waters, the tranquility even during the hottest periods of the year, the rich variety of fish and terrestrial fauna, make the Pelagie Islands a small paradise reachable by… ferry.

The Islands

Lampedusa


Lampedusa is the largest of the Pelagie Islands, having an area of ​​23 square kilometres. It’s located just over 100 km from the North African coast and 200 km from the coast of Sicily and is devoid of vegetation.


Linosa

Linosa is a small island of volcanic origin, located 50 km to the north of Lampedusa in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea.