Programme for Visits to the Museums
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The  itinerary  offers  tours  to the most famous museums of the district, providing area maps on how to  get around,  among the treasures of great historical cultural importance  and what appeals most to tourist in structures worth mentioning.

 

The tour starts from the Regional Archaeological Museum of Centuripe (Via SS. Crocifisso, 1 – Tel: 093573079;  info@museocenturipe.it). Although most of the archaeological artifacts/relics of Centuripe are scattered in several national and international museums, the Regional Archaeological Museum of Centuripe, opened in 2000, houses important local collections from the first decade of the last century and all that comes from regular digging dating back to the 50s, offering an overview of the rich archaeological heritage of Centuripe and presenting the history of the city from the beginning to the medieval period.  The building that currently houses the museum is located in a scenic position overlooking Mount Etna and the Simeto Valley and is on two levels: the entrance hall of the museum presents the history and topography of the city, the ground floor shows where the inhabitans used to live, their economic activities, findings of significant sculptures of the Roman age. Among the most interesting artifacts/relics is a refined Hellenistic statue of Musa (period II BC-I BC), a colossal head of the Emperor Hadrian (II century) and several sculptures from the building of the Augustals, depicting members of the imperial family and emperors.  On the first floor, the artifacts of prehistoric age, are exposed: detailed burial furnishings, that depict the rituals, give a cut on society, way of living and their beliefs.  It is advisable to check the opening hours of the museum by contacting the Pro Loco of Centuripe (Viale Corradino s.n.c. -municipal premises- Tel: 3807904393. Info:  prolococenturipe@libero.it).

 

 

After having lunch at a farm in the village , the tour continues to Aidone (about 37 miles) to visit the Archaeological Museum located in Largo Torres Trupia- Tel: 0935 87037- It is advisable to check the opening hours at the Museum or the Proloco of Aidone). The Regional Archaeological Museum of Aidone is located in the magnificent building of the former convent of the Capuchin friars with the adjoining church of St. Francis, an eighteenth-century buiding restored to best tell the story of Morgantina from the Bronze Age to the Roman Republican one.  The collection consists of artifacts/relics from archaeological digging, carried out mainly by the American Mission of the Universities of Princeton and Virginia and the Superintendents of Syracuse, Agrigento and Enna, since the fifties of the twentieth century. Characterized in chronological order, the life of the Museum is supported by topographical maps and information boards. The Museum has become popular for its international intrigue regarding the precious relics stolen by grave robbers and illegally bought by major American museums.  Between 2009 and Spring of 2011, after a long dispute, many relics/artifacts were brought back to Italy.  Among them were: the two acroliths of the archaic Greek Era (presumably depicting the Goddesses Demeter and Kore), the treasure of Eupolemo (a set of sixteen silver pieces used for both rituals and setting the table dating back to the Hellenistic Era), and finally the majestic marble and limestone statue (height 7 feet/3 inches) called the Goddess of Morgantina (V century B.C.) of excellent workmanship (the vestments, the face) probably designed to be placed on a pedestal.  Among the most important artifacts that returned “home” (2016), was the beautiful Head of Hades, in polychrome terracotta from the Hellenistic Era, stolen decades ago and exhibited in an American museum. Thanks to the intuition of archaeologists Serena Raffiotta and Lucia Ferruzza and to intense diplomatic activity, it is now possible to admire the Head of Hades with its unique terracotta beard curls inside the Museum of Aidone. For more details please contact the Pro Loco of Aidone (Via Mazzini 1- prolocoaidone@virgilio.it – Tel: 333 1791293).

 

 

After the first intense day of touring two of the main museums in the District, we recommend overnighting in Piazza Armerina at one of the excellent accommodation facilities of the city. The following day will be entirely dedicated to visiting many museums in Piazza Armerina starting from the Diocesan Museum (Piazza Duomo, info on: info@museodiocesipiazza.it ) housed in the bishop’s residence, elegant Mannerist palace attributed to Giandomenico Gagini, and dating back to the first half of the seventeenth century.  The museum hosts a permanent exhibition of religious works of art of ecclesiastical origins and contemporary art exhibitions.We continue with a visit to the City’s Pinacoteca (Via Monte 6- pinacoteca@comunepiazzaarmerina.i ): an interesting museum that not only preserves the artistic collections and evidence of the past, but has become an important meeting point for cultural and educational projects. The picture gallery is on one of the most beautiful streets of Piazza Armerina, along which you can see elegant buildings worth admiring, such as Palazzo Geraci, the Monastery of the Trinity and the home of Baron Marco Trigona.  It i salso worth a to see the permanent exhibition of the mining civilization (Via Garibaldi, 2729 – tel. 3883466180).  The museum, rich in history, is located in the heart of the historic center of the city and represents a small jewel that shows the history of the mines of the territory of Piazza Armerina and its miners. A few steps away, you can reach the Museum of peasant civilization (Via Garibaldi 55), An ethnoanthropological museum set up in a historical building and characterized by the exhibition of the local cultural heritage of the early twentieth century. Finally, walking along via Garibaldi, you reach via Vittorio Emanuele where you will see the Jesuit College which hosts the permanent exhibition of the Ancient Book (Via Vittorio Emanuele 20 – Tel:0935/9824415 – Info: lina.grillo@hotmail. – Ingresso libero) which preserves about 40 thousand volumes including 122 incunaboli (books of the fifteenth century), 783 sixteenth century, dozens of manuscripts of various eras and books with engravings in copper of great value. For more information on opening hours of museums, exhibitions and archaeological sites or for guided tours (languages spoken by specialized guides: English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Catalan and Greek), please contact the STS-Tourist services or the consortium COPAT (via Cavour 4 – open from Monday to Friday from 10 to 13 and from 16 to 18. Info: 3358432056 –  3510358216) or the Agieo Travel Agency of Piazza Armerina or Tourist Association Pro Loco Mosaici of Piazza Armerina (Boris Giuliano Square 48. Info: prolocopiazzaarmerina@gmail.com ).

 

The last stop of the program is entirely dedicated to the city of Caltagirone, where its many choices of historical and cultural riches kept within the museums of the city, makes it difficult to choose what to look at first.  You can start with a visit to the MACC, Caltagirone’s Museum of Contemporary Art (Via Luigi Sturzo 167 – Free admission. Tel. 093321083. Info: museicivici@comune.caltagirone.ct.it ), established in 1996 and located in the charming location of the former Women’s Hospital, inside of which we can admire/see the works of the artist Gianni Ballarò and the exhibition of the contemporary art collection obtained from the national ceramics events organized by the City of Caltagirone since 1980.  The tour continues to the International Nativity Museum, a collection of Luigi Colaleo (Largo S. Luigi, 2). The Museum is located inside the San Luigi Elementary School, a carefully restored building to host the vast collection of nativity scenes by Luigi Colaleo, a lawyer from Caltagirone who created a collection of about a thousand pieces from all around the world later donating them later to the City of Caltagirone for the birth of the International Nativity Museum. The remarkable richness and variety of the Colaleo Collection makes it possible to exhibit the nativity scenes, periodically changing and renewing its charm along with the atmosphere  it creates. Furthermore, your visit continues to the Civic Museum in the Bourbon Prison “Luigi Sturzo” located in the historic center of Rome 10. The majestic building of the former Bourbon Prison, designed at the end of the eighteenth century by architect Natale Bonajuto, is an example of eighteenth-century prison architecture. Inside the Museum there is an archaeological section, an art gallery and a historical collection of objects and works of various kinds belonging to different eras. Here you can admire the historic fertile stone of St. James (patron saint of the city), medieval and modern parchments, a silver chalice dating back to 1588 and a valuable medieval crossbow elaborately carved.

 

Finally, do not miss a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Ceramics (Via Giardini Pubblici, Tel.: 0933 58418) located on the second floor of the eighteenth-century Palazzo Reburdone, at the foot of the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, in the heart of the historic center of Caltagirone. Inside the museum there is an important collection of artifacts from all over Sicily. It is the historical production of ceramics on the island, from prehistoric times to the beginning of the twentieth century, with particular reference to the artifacts of Caltagirone. For more information on museum opening hours, please contact Pro Loco Caltagirone (Via Taranto, 12. Tel: 3396103760 . Info: proloco.caltagirone@gmail.com ).

 

Discover  a wide range of cultural, naturalistic, archaeological/historical itineraries, tasting itineraries, celebrations and town feasts as well as the experiential itineraries of the Goddess of Morgantina Tourist District. 


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