Caltagirone is an aristocratic town that owes its name to Arabs: Qal’at Ghiran, meaning something like “Castle of Vases”. Not by chance, the town is certainly renowned above all for its ceramic art, a tradition inherited from Arabs who handed on some important techniques. Sicilian talk about “Caltagirone style” to refer to the ceramic pottery characterized by ornate traditional motifs using a limited palette.

The importance of ceramic for Caltagirone is in plain view on its splendid palaces and churches facades. However, the main highlight and the finest example of Caltagirone’s ceramic art is undoubtedly the majestic staircase of Santa Maria del Monte. The stair is made up of 142 steps, with each upright decorated with unique, multi-colored maiolica, and it connects the lower town with the upper town.

During the year, two events occur and make tis waterfall of maiolica even more beautiful than ever: the infiorata at the end of May, in which the steps are covered by incredible flowers displays, and the illuminata in the middle of August, when the staircase is adorned by numerous candles that during the night offer a magnificent effect.

Caltagirone, with its baroque city centre and its multi-coloured vivacity, is truly a city worth visiting.

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