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The Province of Caltanissetta is located in the Sicilian Midlands and it offers to tourists at the same time a mix of art and history, archeology and tradition. Caltanissetta was primarily known for its high sulfur mining in 19th century. Due to the advancing additional sulfur recovery by America, now these pits are broken. The region has got, however a beautiful landscape.

Proof of past period

The city, located near the mountain "Monte San Giuliano" Caltanissetta (Arabic: Kalat, Greek: Nissa) had its origins with a small settlement of Sicani people, then it was occupied by Romans until it was conquered by Arabs (829 B.C.). The history of Caltanissetta is characterized by large flowering times and bitter defeats. Near Caltanissetta there are numerous monuments and buildings, the testimony of different people and epochs give different experiences to the city. Likewise the Sicilian city of Gela before was inhabited by Greeks from Rhodes and Crete. At that time the city was the center of Hellenistic influence, which spread over the whole island. Some of Greek treasures and relics can be admired in the "Archaeological Museum". The landscape with vineyards and olive groves around Gela has got a great number of archaeological sites that can give traces of antiquity. For example some monuments such as the ancient Acropolis, with homes, as well as parts of a public bath ("Bagni Greci") that were preserved very well. There are also 300-meters Greek fortifications nearby "Capo Soprano". Also, in the "Monte Sabucino" (706 meters) there is a necropolis from the Bronze Age as well as parts of a Hellenistic city wall. On "Gibil fork" ruins of an ancient, Sicanian settlement. In the "Archeaological Museum" of Caltanissetta there are numerous finds near "Marianopoli" , "Castellazzo", "Balate" and "Valle Oscura". The site of “Vassallaggi” is also of great interest where hundreds of tombs were discovered in a necropolis.


Castles and towers

Caltanissetta is rich in many impressive and beautiful castles and in some medieval watchtowers. At the foot of “San Vito Mount" there is the city of "Mussomeli" with one of the best preserved castles "Castello Manfredonico". Particularly impressive is the "Hall of three women" inside the castle, with the legend about three sisters that are jealous of their brother. Further in south there are two fortifications: "Grassuliato" and "U cannoni", because of their tubular structure notice, that is a cannon reminiscent. Between the Norman castle of "Boera" and the castle of "Gela” there is the palace of Gela of great historical importance because it is the only defense building on the coast that represent together with the ring wall of city, served as protection against Saracen pirates incursions. In Gela is also located the "Falconara" - an important observation tower of the city.


The seven nature reserves

The topography of the province of Caltanissetta provides space for the full color spectrum that ranges from the yellow of the sun and wheat on the green of the forest and Mediterranean vegetation towards the blue of the lakes and landscapes at south of "Imera" and "Platan". The Province of Caltanissetta offers to tourists 7 nature reserves, which have to be explored and discovered. Near "Marianopoli", at the foot of "Pertichino Mount"there is the " Sfondato Lake", the  lake that is surrounded by dense forests and provides habitat for wild orchids. It is equally fascinating the "Soprano Lake" in "Serradifalco". In the South of "Campofranco" you can see the nature reserve "Monte Conca" which has numerous caves and underground tunnels. Caves and pits can also be found in the nature reserve of "Monte Capodarso", but that is geologically and archaeologically of great interest. From here you can access the "Erei", which are in an area that owes its name to "La Sughereta" with many cork oaks. The nature reserve is the area around "Biviere", where the largest Sicilian coastal lake and the dunes "Macconi" separate the coastal and sea.


Caltanissetta Food

Cooking in Caltanissetta consists of simple, tasty and healthy dishes. A typical dish is for example the "muffulette" - Golden baked pizza, which is sometimes refined with oil or even with the soup "maccu". In Gela “macaroni with eggplant” can be excellent. The kitchen is often dominated by fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, peas, broad beans and mushrooms. Among the desserts stands the "Nougat"- A sweetness of sugar, honey, walnuts or almonds in bar form. In "Niscemi" a festival of the artichoke is dedicated to the "Umbriulata". In "Milena" you can taste the delicacy of particular bread ("stigghiuilata, 'mpanata, focaccia"), which is filled with salami, black olives, onions, grated cheese and oil. In "Villalba" you can taste the excellent tomatoes on the night of the 14th to the 15th of August. For this purpose, spaghetti are cooked and distributed among people.

Distrances from Caltanissetta

Agrigento       55 Km

Catania        109 Km

Enna            32 Km

Messina        205 Km

Palermo        131 Km

Ragusa         129 Km

Syrakus        159 Km

Trapani        234 Km

see also...

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