History of Enna
Surprisingly, considering Sicily’s history of conquest and fallen rulers, Enna was not founded by conquering invaders. In fact, it is the only major city in Sicily that can make this boast. Instead, Enna was founded by one of the three groups of Sicily’s indigenous peoples – the Siculi (the others were the Elami and the Sicani). The date of its founding is up for debate, though it is believed that a major hub existed here from around 1200BC. As the years drifted by, Enna found itself taken and inhabited by the various rulers that came to power on Sicily’s shores, including the Greeks, the Romans, the Byzantines, the Arabs and the Normans.
Things to do in Enna
Sightseeing in Enna
Enna is an atmospheric place to wander and explore on foot. Comprised of two sections of town, the historic upper regions are remarkably well-preserved whilst the modern, downtown areas perfectly juxtapose the winding, historic streets.
The magnificent Castello di Lombardia on Piazza Mazzini is one of the top attractions in Enna. This mighty architectural triumph was constructed by the Saracens to survey the surrounding countryside and keep an eye out for invaders. The castle was adapted in later times by the Normans, though today only six out of the original 20 towers still stand. Within, visitors can explore a succession of courtyards where, during the summer, theatrical performances take place.
Other key Enna attractions include the Torre di Federico, an impressive example of a defensive tower, stretching 24 metres up into the air, and the majestic Duomo di Enna, a stunning cathedral showcasing a variety of architectural styles, such as Gothic and Baroque.
Picnic in World-Class Countryside
A vital agricultural centre throughout history, Enna still is one of the key producers of Italian grain – much of the mouth-watering pasta you might sample throughout the island could have come from the fertile lands of this region. Hire a car and take a tour of the countryside where you will discover ancient farmhouses, sleepy villages and a traditional way of life not often seen in the busier tourist hubs of the island. Additionally, some 30 kilometres away, you will find the UNESCO World Heritage site, Villa Romana del Casale, famed for its collection of richly detailed Roman mosaics.