Caltagirone is a small town in southern Sicily, very famous all over the world for its handcrafted colored ceramics. Although I was born in Sicily I have never been there before but as my mom really wanted to visit it last summer we decided to have a one-day family trip to Caltagirone to enjoy the city.
Here are my top 6 things to do list if you decide to visit this lovely place one day:
- The Cathedral: San Giuliano Cathedral in the center of Caltagirone is a magnificent religious building with a very old history. It was destroyed by several earthquakes and re-built many times. Its wonderful turquoise dome is very characteristic and it is visible from many corners of the city. Its inside decorations are amazing and definitely worth a visit.
- Ceramic Museum: Caltagirone is famous all over the world for its ceramics and everywhere in town it is easy to see them decorating walls, facades and balconies of old buildings. The history of ceramics’ handcrafting is very interesting and you can have a clear idea of how it changed during the times in the beautiful Ceramic Museum. There are rare examples of different eras and a very detailed focus on the way it is traditionally crafted. You can also find here an amazing collection of the famous Moor’s Heads, typical Sicilian ceramic sculptures representing our ancestors (the Moors).
- Santa Maria del Monte Stairway: this is the most famous corner of Caltagirone, the famous stairway built in 1606 connecting the old town with the new one. 142 stairs fully decorated with authentic ceramics from Caltagirone, it is full of plants and flowers and very loved by tourists and citizens. A picture here is a must of your visit!
- Moor’s Heads: you can’t leave Caltagirone without brining with you the famous Moor’s Heads, representing our Moors ancestors’ heads decorated with fruits and other typical pieces of the Sicilian tradition, these pieces are a must have. You can find them in many colors and decorations but please be careful when you buy them. If they are too cheap they are not traditionally handcrafted! Moor’s Heads can be very expensive but the quality is absolutely different. Spend a bit more but get the real ones (the couple, not just one!). I got mine here after a long hunt but I am madly in love with them!
- Granita: like almost everywhere in Sicily granita here is delicious! I had lunch with it (and a famous Sicilian brioche) in one of the bars at the entrance of the old city (in front of the City Theatre) and I was totally delighted (I got a pistachio one, of course!)
- Magma Shop: last but not least I suggest a visit to my favorite shop in town, Magma, just near the Stairway. It is a very peculiar shop selling only handcrafted pieces mainly from Sicilian handcrafters. Clothes, accessories and homeware here are 100% handmade certified!
I am wearing a thrifted Moroccan caftan from Girls in the Garage, an handmade wax bag from Atelier Habibi and an handmade headwrap from Madame Ilary.