1. Caltagirone: Traditional Ceramic Town Walking Tour
The guided tour in Caltagirone begins with the Public Garden, one of the 10 most beautiful gardens in Italy, in English style with an entrance in Art Nouveau style where an internal avenue opens up where you can admire statues, pottery vases, majolica, flower boxes. and a monumental fountain. The splendid garden also houses the Moorish-style music stage with ceramic decorations and the Teatrino belvedere which offers a spectacular view over the whole city. Along the Ceramics Museum we continue on the main street that takes us to the heart of the historic center where we meet a characteristic panoramic point built in the 1700s, the Tondo Vecchio, with the shape of a theater embellished with decorations, coats of arms of the town and the Sicilian logo of the Trinacria, where you can admire a panorama of the mountains and valleys surrounding Caltagirone. The tour continues walking on the S. Francesco bridge made up of five arches and built in the seventeenth century to connect two of the three hills on which the town stands; it is decorated with beautiful relief pottery made by local artists. Among the streets of the historic center, the noble palaces and the beautiful churches decorated in Baroque and Art Nouveau style amaze and among so much artistic beauty we reach the Cathedral of San Giuliano with its imposing bell tower 48 meters high. The Basilica in floral liberty style, has a beautiful dome entirely covered with majolica; inside the church has numerous frescoes from the Old and New Testament and a precious baroque wooden choir. A few steps away we find the very central Piazza del Municipio overlooked by elegant buildings such as the neoclassical-style Palazzo dell 'Aquila and the former Palazzo Senatorio transformed over time into a theater and which now houses the Luigi Sturzo Gallery. The guided tour ends in one of the symbolic places of Caltagirone, the famous staircase of S. Maria del Monte, built in the 1600s to connect the historic center with the newer part of the town. The beautiful staircase consisting of 142 steps decorated with colorful ceramic tiles is adorned with flowers during the Infiorata event in May and adorned with 4000 candles that give life to an evocative design during the celebrations for the feast of the Patron Saint.