The walking tour starts from the Cathedral, located at the top of the Monte area, one of the four historic areas of the city (the other three are: Canali, Casalotto and Castellina). After admiring the majestic external structure and its bell tower, high about 44 meters, inside you will see the remarkable wooden Crucifix dating back to 1485. We recommend to visit the Diocesan Museum, located a few meters away, Piazza Cattedrale 1, where rich and ancient treasures, consisting of silver reliquaries and valuable sacred vestments are kept. A little further down, on Via Monte, you can visit the Municipal Art Gallery, which mainly contains religious paintings and sculptures from convents and monasteries, whose artistic productions are dated between the 15th and early 20th centuries. The neighborhood is filled with many tin, medieval-style alleyways, and also magnificent palaces built in Renaissance and Baroque style such as the Palazzo Trigona, built with terracotta bricks and local sandstone. From here you can reach the Aragonese Castle, a structure similar to the Federician style and of considerable interest. Its bad state of conservation requires major restoration. Taking Via Umberto, you can go down the stairs of the “Zoppo” in order to reach the Civic Library and visit the Exhibition of the Ancient Book. We also recommend a visit to the “Museum of the Peasant” and the “Exhibit of Mining Civilization” in Via Garibaldi before continuing towards the wonderful church of the Commandery of the Knights of Malta of 1200 (on Via Umberto I), one of the most important churches of the city in Norman style, except for the two gothic portals. The interior, a rectangular plan, has a single nave covered with wooden beams that end with a semi-circular apse topped with a semi-dome of significant workmanship. A few steps from the Commendary, is the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista (built between the 16th and 17th centuries) with its “Sistine Chapel of Sicily”, defined as so, for the beauty of its frescoes dating back to 1615 credit due to Dutch painter Borremans.
After lunch, we recommend going to the peripheral area of Piazza Armerina, to visit the “Villa Romana del Casale”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997 and well-known for its 3500 square meters of mosaics. It bears witness to the use of the grounds as the center of power and foundation of the rural economy of the Western Empire during the Roman period. For more information about the opening hours of museums, exhibits and archaeological sites or for guided tours, we suggest to contact the STS-Servizi Turistici or COPAT Association (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 or the Pro Loco Mosaici of Piazza Armerina Tourist Association (Boris Giuliano Square 48. Info: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Returning to the center in the late afternoon, we recommend tasting almond wine, a white wine processed with the essence of the almond, very delicate and fragrant. Served cold, it can be an excellent aperitif or the ideal combination with delicious desserts of the Sicilian tradition or also jams produced with local ingredients such as products from ”Casamandolio Farm”. The farm, in addition to producing jams, almonds and olive oil, also produces cosmetics and natural soaps which can be purchased from various stores in the city.
Lastly, we inform tourists that it is possible to buy excellent olive oil produced by the best local companies from our top retailers located in the area (to mention a few: Tenuta Arena, Casamandolio, Azienda Trovato). Furthermore, it is recommended to stay at one of the excellent accommodation facilities awarded the territorial brand Dea di Morgantina so you can dedicate the following day to one of the many activities offered.
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