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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Sicily  /  Province of Enna

Province of Enna

4
Ruins · Shopping Malls · Historic Walking Areas
Enna is a city and comune located roughly at the center of Sicily, southern Italy, in the province of Enna, towering above the surrounding countryside. It has earned the nicknames belvedere (panoramic viewpoint) and ombelico (navel) of Sicily.At 931m above sea level, Enna is the highest Italian provincial capital. Until 1926 the town was known as Castrogiovanni.HistoryEnna is situated near the center of the island; whence the Roman writer Cicero called it Mediterranea maxime, reporting that it was within a day's journey of the nearest point on all the three coasts. The peculiar situation of Enna is described by several ancient authors, and is one of the most remarkable in Sicily. The ancient city was placed on the level summit of a gigantic hill, surrounded on all sides with precipitous cliffs almost wholly inaccessible. The few paths were easily defended, and the city was abundantly supplied with water which gushes from the face of the rocks on all sides. With a plain or table land of about 5 km in circumference on the summit, it formed one of the strongest natural fortresses in the world.PrehistoricArchaeological excavations have revealed artifacts dating from the 14th century BC, proving human presence in the area since Neolithic times. A settlement from before the 11th century BC, assigned by some to the Sicanians, has been identified at the top of the hill; later it was a center of the Sicels.In historical times, Enna became renowned in Sicily and Italy for the cult of the goddess Demeter (the Roman Ceres). Her grove was known as the umbilicus Siciliae ("The navel of Sicily"). Ceres' temple in Henna was a famed site of worship.
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