In this article, we will discover what to see in Enna, exploring its fascinating past and breathtaking natural landscapes.
Enna is the only Sicilian province without an outlet to the sea and is characterized by a predominantly hilly terrain, offering visitors a unique panoramic view of the picturesque villages that once settled in these areas in search of safety.
Capital and medieval history
The heart of this province is the capital, positioned at about 1,000 meters above sea level is the highest in Italy. In a few hours, you can discover the charm of Enna, walking through its streets and admiring churches that tell centuries of history, such as the church of St. Francis and the Cathedral.
The oldest and most imposing, for its 23,000 sq. m. of surface area, is the Castle of Lombardy, which since the 13th century was placed to defend the northeastern flank of Enna, but whose foundation dates back almost 3,000 years, to the very origins of human settlement on these fortresses.
In the present day it still retains 6 of the original 20 towers, several inner courtyards in which performances are held in the good season and from whose terraces exceptional views can be admired.
At its opposite end is the other important monument of medieval times, the octagonal tower of Frederick II.
Museums and historical roots
Enna’s archaeological heritage is also revealed in museums, such as the one housed in the 15th-century Palazzo Varisano, where visitors can admire the treasures found in the area, bringing to life the historical roots of this place.
Moving away from the capital city in a northerly direction, you will discover towns such as Nicosia, Leonforte and Troina, which stand at the junctions of medieval streets, still rich in churches and aristocratic palaces that still bear witness to an illustrious and politically relevant past.
While heading south, Piazza Armerina welcomes with its fascinating churches and majestic city palace. But the real treasure is the Villa Romana del Casale, a 3rd-4th century AD rural center famous for its magnificent mosaics covering over 3500 m2.
A journey into archaeology
Exploring Sicily’s historical roots, an unavoidable detour leads to Aidone, an archaeological gem with its regional museum. Here, enthusiasts can admire the grace of Venus, the magnificent silverware of Eupolemus and the impressive acroliths of Demeter and Kore.
Next door, the Archaeological Park of Morgantina offers a theatrical spectacle steeped in classicism, similar to what can be experienced in Syracuse. This combination of history and culture creates a tourist hub of undeniable interest, an experience that embraces the greatness of ancient Sicily.
A third archaeological treasure lies in Centuripe, along the road down from the town to the Simeto valley. With its associated museum, this site adds a fascinating chapter to the narrative of the civilizations that have shaped this land over the centuries.
A unique natural spectacle
Nature, the protagonist in the Enna area, offers amazing landscapes. The lakes, both natural and artificial, are bodies of water that attract a rich variety of avifauna, making Enna a crossroads for migratory birds.
The lakes, are almost all artificial, that is, born as a result of damming of waterways to constitute water reserves useful for both agriculture and domestic consumption, below are the lakes that we recommend visiting:
- Lake Pozzillo near Regalbuto (one of the largest reservoirs in Europe),
- the Ancipa lake near Troina,
- the Ogliastro lake in the territory of Aidone,
- and Lake Nicoletti near Leonforte.
Minor mirrors of water are:
- Lake Doberdò and lake of Pietrarossa,
- the Olivo lake,
- the lake of Villarosa,
- and the small lakes of Monte Sambughetti.
But the best known is Lake Pergusa, most famous for the legend of the Rape of Proserpine. It is the only natural lake in Sicily, created by the sinking of the land; having neither tributaries nor outfalls, it is fed only by rainwater, so the waters are slightly brackish.
Close to both Pergusa Lake and Ronza Park is the peculiar Floristella-Grottacalda Mining Park, which, set in a splendid landscape context, constitutes a sort of open-air science museum and one of the most important settlements of industrial archaeology in southern Italy.
In addition to the forests with which it is surrounded, the Park offers peculiar naturalistic aspects such as the presence of the sulfur water spring that feeds the Floristella River and the continuous emissions of methane and ferruginous salt water through mud volcanoes known as “Maccalube“.
Begin your discovery of Enna with Sicilying and get ready for a unique experience of culture, history and natural beauty!