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.
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.
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.
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.
Map of Enna and places to visit
Places to visit near Enna
See more places nearby in the Sicily guide