Caltavuturo is a small town to the north of Sicily. The Old Town of Caltavuturo developed around the end of the 16th century, after the abandonment of the site called Terravecchia, where the medieval town was located.
It is from this time also that the construction of some of the churches in Caltavuturo took place, in particular the Cathedral Church in the old town dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul. The interior of the cathedral holds works of great artistic value such as the marble statue of "Madonna of the Snow" by Francesco Laurana (1430-1502), a tabernacle of marble, and the sculpture of “Annunciation” by the school by Antonello Gagini* (1478-1536).
In the southern part of the town is the 18th century Church of Santa Maria La Nova. It has a single nave with a vaulted walls in baroque style, and houses the statue of "Saint Benedict” by Filippo Quattrocchi (1738-1813).
Also close to here is the Church of Saint Augustine. Built around the end of the 18th century it was the seat of the Augustinians, and holds a statue of "Maria Santissima del Soccorso", the patron saint of Caltavuturo, and a statue of "Our Lady of Mount Carmelo" by Girolamo Bagnasco (1759-1832).
Another church of great importance in Caltavuturo is the Church of Santa Maria del Gesu. Built in the early 17th century it contains a wooden crucifix, also of the 17th century, by Frate Umile da Petralia and a painting of "St. Mary's Visit to Elizabeth” by Pietro Novelli.
The Civic Museum in Caltavuturo deserves a careful look. It is divided into several sections, including one devoted to relics found in the territory around the town (coins and pottery) while lovers of local Sicilian traditions will be interested to visit the section dedicated to the 'Opera dei pupi'.
'Green and fertile' is how best to describe the landscape around Caltavuturo, which winds through mountains, valleys and the sea. From the naturalistic point of view, Caltavuturo is part of the Madonie National Park, with a remarkable variety of landscapes and local traditions.
While visiting Caltavuturo you can also sample the local products, like cheese, ricotta, oil, sausages and cured meats, rabbit and wild mushrooms. Local crafts include the processing of laces, woven carpets, wood, wrought iron and glass.
A particular highlight here is the the ancient castle called "Terravecchia". The castle clings to the top of the Caltavuturo hill called 'Terravecchia', overlooking the modern small town to the north. It was originally the city's medieval core, completely abandoned for a different site (that of the modern town) only in modern times.
Some massive parts of the walls remain, being a curtain wall of quadrangular plan and another semi-cylindrical tower to protect the access on the north side.
A few other remains of the walls allow us to hypothesize the presence of another tower on the summit of the crag. Here there is a cistern dug into the rock to collect rainwater. Another cistern is covered by a vault located at the bottom, almost under the west side of the walls. No part of the castle, rebuilt several times, and certainly of dubious dating, is due to Norman times.
On the cliff just below the site of Terravecchia is the Church of the SS. Salvatore called the “Church of the hamlet.” It probably dates from the 13th century, but was recently restored. It has the simplicity of the rural churches of the Middle Ages, with a single nave with an apse, a small nave and a crypt.
See also history of Caltavuturo
* For more information see historical Italian artists
See the Sicily guide for more travel ideas...