Enna is an Italian town of 26 173 inhabitants, capital of the free municipal consortium of the same name in Sicily. It was called Castrogiovanni until 1927, when it took back the ancient name of Enna. The city was defined Urbs Inexpugnabilis by the Romans for its impregnability. In the previous three millennia it was an almost impregnable stronghold of Sicans, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Swabians and Aragonese. Its main historical monuments are the castle, the Rocca di Cerere and the cathedral. It is home to the Kore University.
Enna alta remains the heart of city life, despite the recent birth of Enna Bassa, for various reasons: it includes the historic center, the most important administrative offices of the province (Municipality, Province, most of the police), the monuments medieval, Renaissance and modern, and has a higher population than lower Enna (16,543 inhab. against 9,691, from 2006). On the other hand, however, the fact that the plateau on which Enna Alta develops is now almost completely urbanized and does not present other building areas, has diverted the building development to Enna Bassa and, consequently, they have been located, completely in some important services that were previously located in the center leave towards the lower city. These include: the Umberto I hospital in Enna, which until 2005 was housed in a citadel of offices and departments in upper Enna, and today is housed in two large glass and concrete buildings in the lower city; the Provincial Command of the Fire Brigade, whose transfer to the new premises of Enna Bassa was completed in 2007. On the contrary, the expansion of the Kore University (which, being recently founded, it has its offices only in Enna Bassa) in Enna alta. This important phase is taking place with the opening in 2013 of a 5-star University Residence in Upper Enna, with 100 beds, university canteen, cinema, computer room, and other services inside a glass pyramid, which it will in turn be included in the structure undergoing restoration of the former Nino Savarese Middle School.
Pergusa: A lake next to Enna
Pergusa is a fraction of the city and is 10 km from the center. It has a very small resident population (about a thousand inhabitants) but there is a developed holiday building and a good part of the accommodation and tourist facilities such as hotels, bed and breakfasts and farmhouses, many of which overlook the lake, the main tourist destination of the locality. The Special Nature Reserve of Pergusa Lake incorporates the small inhabited area of the village and boasts a rich birdlife that winters, transits or resides in the area. The Reserve includes the basin of Lake Pergusa, 1.8 km² and the large area that surrounds it which includes the Selva Pergusina, an equipped pine forest, the rush grove and other areas of naturalistic value. The fraction gives its name to an automobile circuit, the Autodromo di Pergusa, in which the only edition of the Formula 1 Mediterranean Grand Prix was held on 27 August 1961
Monuments and places of Enna
Palazzo Varisano stands in Piazza Mazzini, close to the church of San Michele; the building is from the 18th century, built on the remains of a 16th century structure which still leaves traces of itself in the rooms of the ground floors. It houses the rooms of the Regional Archaeological Museum which exhibits in its rooms valuable archaeological artefacts connected to the ancient societies that animated the districts of the Enna area. The palace has belonged over the centuries to the noble families of Leto di Capodarso, Petroso and Varisano, from which it took its name; in the seventies of the twentieth century it was purchased by the Sicilian Region and then sold to the Municipality of Enna. The structure is remembered in the historical chronicles because on August 13, 1863, Giuseppe Garibaldi, would have delivered the famous speech ending with the sentence or Rome or death.
Fortified palace in Gothic-Catalan style, whose construction dates back to the early sixteenth century, overlooks Piazza Napoleone Colajanni. It has been the home, over the centuries, of numerous notable families such as the Falanga, the Petroso and the Notarbartolo. It is organized on several levels; on the main floor there are the representative and residence rooms (including the Magna room) and on the ground floor the service rooms; the attic room was dedicated to servants. Frames, arabesques and coats of arms characterize the structure; in particular, the frame that divides the ground floor from the noble is equipped with three windows decorated with stone lace.
Federico II Tower
The octagonal tower was built by Emperor Frederick II on the probable remains of the Greek theater. Its octagonal shape, which follows the oriental model of the sacred Temple of Jerusalem, suggests that it was used for the compass rose. In any case it was a defense tower to control that side of the city of Enna which was exposed to possible attacks by enemies. The tower stands on top of a wooded hill. From its summit the view sweeps over the entire upper town and the valleys below, up to Etna.
The cathedral of Enna
The cathedral of Enna, dedicated to Maria Santissima della Visitazione, is the mother church of the city, as well as a national monument and a UNESCO place of peace since 2008. The cathedral is located in the historic center of the city, climbing the historic Via Roma and is located in about 500 meters from the castle of Lombardia. It is thrown, with its majestic bell facade on a small square, called Piazza Duomo, surrounded by the rectory and other eighteenth-century architecture and overlooks Piazza Mazzini, of which it occupies the entire north side. It is counted among the major artistic expressions of the province, thanks to the greatness, vastness and value of the works preserved, including the altarpieces by Borremans, Filippo Paladini and Vincenzo Roggeri, as well as the fascinating blend of different styles , like the baroque side portal. Finally, the cathedral is the culmination of the celebrations of the evocative Holy Week of Enna and of the patronal celebrations of the Madonna della Visitazione.
How to reach Enna
Enna, located in the center of the island and in an elevated position, is accessible only by road transport. There are numerous bus lines operating between Enna and the main cities of Sicily, mostly managed by two of the major Sicilian road haulage companies, based in Enna, SAIS Autolinee and Interbus. These also provide connections with the rest of Italy and with some countries of Europe. Enna can be reached from the A19 Palermo-Catania motorway (E932), through the homonymous junction in the viaduct, one of the longest in Sicily. To reach the two parts, upper and lower, of the city, you must take the state road 117 bis Centrale Sicula. The territory of Enna is crossed by the state road 117 bis, which connects it to Caltanissetta, by the state road 121 Catanese, which connects it on one side to Palermo and on the other side to Nicosia and Santo Stefano di Camastra, then through the SS 117 Centrale Sicula), from the state road 192 of the Valle del Dittaino, which connects it to Catania, from the state road 561 Pergusina, which connects it to Piazza Armerina and Gela and from the state road 290 of Alimena which connects it to Calascibetta, Alimena and Petralie (Petralia Soprana and Petralia Sottana). Provincial road 1 ensures most of the traffic between upper Enna and lower Enna.