Caltagirone Caltagirone, Italy
This charming town, 68 kilometers from Catania, is world-famous for its craft production of pottery, a job that still employs many craftsmen. This ancient art, which was begun in the Arab period, has developed over the centuries, but has maintained practically the same decorations and colors so typical of Caltagirone pottery.
Pottery is everywhere in Caltagirone: in the palaces, the churches, the monuments, the gardens and the squares. The splendid Scala di Santa Maria del Monte, is a unique staircase worldwide, totally covered in painted pottery tiles. This breathtaking staircase with 142 steps, that connects the high part of the city to the low part, is the center of many cultural events in Caltagirone.
If you get the chance, plan a trip to Caltagirone in the springtime: you will see an unforgettable scene. Between the month of May and June, the town celebrates its Infiorata Festival: Scala di Santa Maria del Monte is completely covered with flowers, which create a beautiful series of geometric patterns that climb up the staircase.
Another festival to be seen in the Luminaria, that is celebrated on the nights of July 24th and 25th in honor of San Giacomo, the town patron saint: thousands of lanterns are used to decorate the staircase, that create an even more spectacular effect.
Not to be missed:
- A visit to the Regional Pottery Museum to see the origins of the craftwork that produces this pottery.
- A walk in the splendid Art Nuveau-style garden, Villa Comunale, designed by Giovanni Battista Basile.
- A few pottery items to take home as presents or to keep yourself.
- A jar of honey made in Caltagirone, to take home and taste so you remember the flavors of this area when you are a long way away.