A few days ago we had a chance to visit the city of Enna, which is considered the center of Sicily. The town itself is perched atop a very tall hill, and the surrounding countryside is gorgeous!
One of the main attractions in Enna is the Castle, which was originally the Greek Temple of Ceres, and was “renovated” by the Romans, Byzantines, Arabs and the Normans, before Frederick II moved in (along with troops from Lombardy – hence the name). He added over twenty towers to the castle, one of which is still functional.
I had researched the opening times for the Castle, and the gates were unlocked, but there was no one else around, which was a little eerie.
Also, it was freezing.
We eventually found the entrance to the tower, and were standing inside trying to decide if we were allowed to go up the stairs when an elderly Italian man showed up out of NOWHERE! He announced “Non parlo l’inglese” and then motioned us up the stairs.
Each staircase was different, but they were all crazy steep! I’m a pretty tall person – definitely taller than most people that would have been around in the 1200’s – and I struggled with the height of the individual steps!
Here is a blurry picture of me, and one of the staircases (Nick said it was too cold to hold the camera steady, which is probably true):
That railing was also freezing. Gloves are definitely required if you come here in the winter!
The view from the top was amazing though!
The neighboring town of Calascibetta:
Mt. Etna in the distance:
and the reason for this hilltop being chosen for the Temple of Ceres in the first place:
It was believed that this lake was where Hades kidnapped Persephone, Ceres’ daughter, which lead to the creation of the seasons. I love how much “mythology” is interwoven with the “history” in Sicily!