Enna, a charming hilltop town in the centre of Sicily

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Visit Enna

Unlike most of Sicily's attractions Enna is inland and not on the coast. Indeed it is right at the centre of the island and so a trip to Enna offers the chance to explore the interior of Sicily. Enna occupies a hilltop position on one of the highest points on the island with an elevation of 1000 meters.

Explore Enna

Enna sits high above the Dittaino valley and so has great views over the craggy landscape dotted with hill towns and villages.  The surrounding fields grow a significant amount of Italy's grain and your bowl of Italian pasta may very well come from this region.

At the top of the town and dominating its skyline is the huge Lombardy castle. It is considered to be one of the most important military buildings in Sicily and is one of the largest medieval castles in Italy.

Lombardy castle in Enna

Despite being virtually inpregnable due to its position on top of steep cliffs the castle has been held under Byzantine, Norman, Arab and French rule. Most often when it has been defeated it has been due to betrayal by someone inside the castle rather than by military force.

The castle has three courtyards and six of the original twenty towers still remain. The castle is open for visits and in the summer it is possible to see theatre productions in the inner courtyard.

 
 

Another of Enna's historic buildings is its cathedral which has a beautiful wooden coffered ceiling and the central apse is covered in Baroque stuccoes by Pietro Rosso. Various treasures from the cathedral can be seen in the nearby Alessi museum.

The Palazzo Varisano is home to Enna's archaeological museum with items from archaeological sites in Enna and the surrounding countryside.

Enna cathedral

In the public gardens you can visit the Torre de Federico, an octagonal tower which is purported to have been the summer residence of Frederick II. Inside it has beautiful vaults. The tower is 24 meters tall and was once part of a larger complex.

Enna holds various religious ceremonies. Its Easter Parade is famous in Sicily and is a good time to visit. The 'Madonna della Visitaziona" procession in July is dedicated the Madonna who is the patron saint of Enna. At 7 am 101 gunshots are fired and later a statue of the Madonna is paraded through the town. The Madonna and her casket are a magnificent sight as they are covered in gold and precious jewells.

The church of Saint Marco with its richly decorated interior,  the campanile of the church of San Giovanni (now destroyed) and the San Francesco church which now houses the library are all worth looking out for.

Places to visit nearby

Lake Pergusa is nearby and is the mythical site of Persephone's abduction by Hades. It is also Sicily's only natural lake. However whilst it is rich in bird-life as a stopping point for the migration to and from Africa it is rather surrounded by buildings and not especially attractive.

Piazza Armerina is one of Sicily's major attractions as its Villa del Casale is full of Roman mosaics of a very high standard and preservation.

The hilltop village of Sperlinga is classified as one of the most beautiful in Italy and also has fabulous views.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Sicily guide.

See also:

Map of Enna and places to visit

Places to visit near Enna

Piazza Armerina

Piazza Armerina

Medieval and Baroque architecture and some fabulous Roman mosaics attract lots of visitors to Piazza Armerina.

Piazza Armerina guide

Aidone

Aidone

Visitors will want to admire the Baroque architecture of Aidone.

Aidone guide

Sperlinga

Sperlinga

A castle and troglodyte caves are amongst the attractions of Sperlinga.

Sperlinga guide

Morgantina

Morgantina

The Greek city of Morgantina is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Sicily.

Morgantina guide

San Cataldo

San Cataldo

Many of the buildings in San Cataldo date from the 17th century and include some fine religious buildings.

San Cataldo guide

Petralia

Petralia

Cobbled streets, villas, palaces and mansions await visitors to the lovely Petralia.

Petralia guide