Caltagirone – Hilltop Italy Town

Caltagirone, Sicily from a distance Photo by Margie MiklasA view of another hill town in Italy – This one from the Sicilian Baroque town of Caltagirone, a city of about 40,000 people.

Caltagirone, sicily Photo by Margie MiklasNot on the radar for too many travelers to Italy, this is one of my favorite places in Sicily.

Known as the Sicilian city of ceramics, Caltagirone is located in the province of  Catania, and approximately 70 km southwest of the city of Catania, an easy day trip if you are staying in Catania.

Ceramic wall in Caltagirone, Sicily Photo by Margie MiklasWalking through the city, ceramics are everywhere — on railings, embedded into walls, on signs, and, of course, in the shops. There are several hundred ceramics shops here, and you could spend all day browsing the selection. I was in my glory here and could have stayed a week.

Flowers on the staircase in Caltagirone, Sicily Photo by Margie The centro storico, or historic district, is where its famous landmark can be found, this being La Scalinetta, a staircase with 142 steps. What makes this  so unique is that on each riser are hand-painted ceramic majolica tiles, no two the same.

In shades of blues, greens, and yellows, each tile has a different design.

Ceramic riser on La Scalinetta in Caltagirone Photo by Margie MiklasIt is an awesome sight to see and well worth a trip to Sicily.

This Sicilian design  created in ceramic is known as Trinacria and is a classic icon for Sicily.

Sicily Ceramic Trinacria Photo by Margie MiklasLocals sometimes adorn the outside of their homes with one, or in these instances, the outside of a ceramic shop. Which do you like better? I couldn’t decide since they both are so detailed and colorful.

Sicily ceramic Trinacria plaque in Caltagirone Photo by Margie MiklasLike so many other small towns in Italy, Caltagirone does not disappoint with its narrow alleys and stairways.

Narrow stairway in Centro Storico of Caltagirone Photo by Margie MiklasI’ve been luck enough to be able to purchase some beautiful ceramic items here at very reasonable prices.Ceramics in Catagirone Photo by Margie Miklas

 

Photo by Margie MiklasSicily is  one of the most fascinating and beautiful places in Italy. Goethe has said, “If you haven’t seen Sicily you haven’t seen Italy. Sicily is where the soul of Sicily is.”

I hope you have the chance to visit Sicily, and especially this wonderful city of ceramics, Caltagirone. If you’d  like to read more about my experiences in Caltagirone, you may like these older posts.

Sicily Art Studio in Caltagirone
Lunch in Caltagirone with our Savoca Family

Have you visited Caltagirone? I’m interested in your feedback, so please leave a comment.

Grazie and Ciao

And if you haven’t been to my Instagram page, please stop where you will find photos from Italy and whatever inspires me.

 

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14 Responses

  1. I LOVED visiting Caltagirone even though it rained the day I was there. So I second your hearty recommendation to visit this town. There’s just something really pleasing about seeing all those colorful ceramics all around you. And as you say, the prices are reasonable. You’re buying from the source.
    I have to admit, however, that I’m not a fan of the Trinacria – those legs coming out of the woman’s head sort of creep me out. Am I the only one? Thus said, your photo of the blue and white one is sort of elegant and I might be able to get used to it.

    • Thanks Karen. I understand about being creeped out with the Trinacria symbol..It’s worse when you start reading about it. I guess it grows on you. I did like the blue one a lot.

  2. I have not been to Caltagirone but I love ceramica so I know I would love it. I have a friend whose family is from there and her last name is…..Caltagirone!

  3. We missed this great town…next time.

  4. If. Anything makes my heart beat faster it’s Italian ceramics, oh and beautiful linen. Love your blog. A little taste of Italy every day. Thank you from the Scottish highlands. Jan

  5. What a timely article! I will be visiting Sicily soon and staying in Agrigento and Catania. I can’t wait to visit this town!

  6. I actually really like the symbol, it’s so different and unique, exactly what I imagine Sicily to be as a whole (I shall find out for myself next year). Beautiful views of a quaint town, and I love how you capture people in your photos, just living their daily life and sharing them with us all! 🙂 Bravo

  7. Margie, for those who want to visit Caltagirone, I just discovered tours run by the Occhipinti family – the same as the winery, but I am not related to them. I am planning to try them out this July, so will let you know when I am back. http://bagliocchipinti.com/?attraction=day-3-piazza-armerina-caltagirone

  8. I’m really enjoying reading about these lovely hilltop villages Margie! And there’s so much to see! Thanks for the inspiration, keep it coming!

  9. I’m sure la scalinetta is beautiful!

  10. We’ll be traveling to Caltagirone in about a year. I’ll be traveling with my mother who is a wheel chair. Where should we park and how would we get from the parking spot to the area by the stairs? Is there a train or bus that will take us there? I’ve seen a little white electric train in some travelers pictures, can we get up the hill with this train? If so, where do we pick it up relative to where we would park? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    • Thank you Roseanne, and I am sure you will love the town. You can park along the streets and walk to the staircase. I am not personally aware of the public transportation in Caltagirone but this link should provide some information for you. Glad you have a year to plan this wonderful trip. I know your mother will love going too. Italy is not so up-to-date though with accessibility, so be prepared. The cobblestoned streets sand not easy to navigate with a wheelchair but there are sidewalks in Caltagirone. Thanks so much for reading my blog and please search for Caltagoirone as there are other posts with photos which may be helpful.

I'd love to know what you think, so please leave a comment.