Caltagirone

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Caltagirone, the name derives from the Arabic word Qalat-Jerun, which means "Castle of the Tombs", due to the presence of vast necropolises on the territory. It is known throughout the world for the ceramic handicraft production. To visit: the palaces, the baroque churches and bell towers, the splendid 19th century Villa Comunale, the Norman Basilica of San Giacomo, the Capitaniale Court and the spectacular staircase. Caltagirone is the capital of Sicilian ceramics. It was the Arabs who called it that from the translation of Kalat to the Giarun, or hill of the vases. The ancient Byzantine village introduced innovative technologies for the processing of clay. In addition to the Arabs, the Genoese, the Normans, the Aragonese and the Spaniards also inhabited Caltagirone. In 1693 a disastrous earthquake destroyed it and to its reconstruction contributed architects such as Gagliardi, Battaglia, Bonaiuto, who in 1700 gave the town the baroque tonality that it still preserves today. To that reconstruction Caltagirone owes the inclusion of its historical center, together with other seven Municipalities of the Val di Noto, in the restricted list of UNESCO world heritage sites. It is unimaginable with what awareness people, workers, clergy, aristocracy and peasantry peasants designed and built everything that today seems to be arousing amazement.

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