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CALTAGIRONE

City of Ceramics

We are in central Sicily, in Caltagirone, just a few km from two important nature reserves: the reserve of Santo Pietroe and the Sughereta di Niscemi, famous for its countless butterflies, and is also where part of the corks we use come from.

Caltagirone is full of churches, bell towers, remarkable buildings and eighteenth-century villas. In 2002 UNESCO  awarded the historic centre the title of World Heritage Site  due to its exceptional architectural heritage, together with Val di Noto.

Caltagirone is famous for its ceramics, a craft that has developed over the centuries beginning with the Greek colonisation. After a glorious past that saw the city, for over two millennia, become a wealthy stronghold for the Byzantines, Arabs, Genoese and Normans, who used it as a base to control the two plains, that of Catania and Gela, the city today is now enjoying a new period of redevelopment, thanks mainly to its two great resources: tourism and ceramics. In particular, the decoration of each tile found in the 142 steps of the monumental Santa Maria del Monte Staircase, developed from drawings conceived and designed in 1954-1955.

Judeka stands in a magical place: along the ancient Wine Route, on the country road of San Mauro, home to a Greek-Sicilian town founded in the 4th century BC by settlers from Gela. The Greeks probably came across the then navigable rivers that line the vineyards. Its from here the traditions linked to the vineyards and olive groves date back to: as everybody knows, it was the Greeks who exported grape vines and their cultivation to the other Mediterranean countries.

Near Judeka, there is an archaeological site called “A truvatura” (The hidden treasure) taking its name from the incredible archaeological artefacts found there.

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