If you plan your tour around Sicily, you absolutely need to visit the central part of the island. This part of the Sicilian territory isn’t as famous as other towns—such as Taormina, Ortygia or Agrigento.
Anyway, here you can find places of great charm and of great historical importance. The three places you need to see are Piazza Armerina, Aidone and Morgantina—all situated around Enna. These three locations are connected by the road going from west—Palermo or Agrigento—to east—Catania.
You can spend the day of the transfer from one part to the island to the other visiting this area, to enrich your tour and break the three hours drive. If you leave from Palermo or Agrigento, the first place you’re going to encounter is Piazza Armerina.
This small town is the perfect destination if you are interested in religious sites. Not without reason, it’s called “the town of 100 churches”. The most important is the Cathedral, dating back to the 17th Century.
The real marvel in town, however, isn’t a church but the ancient Roman Villa—the Villa del Casale—UNESCO World Heritage. Even if it was discovered only in the last century, it’s much more ancient. There’s no certainty about its origin, but it’s estimated between the third and the fourth century. The vast complex offers visitors a unique collection of perfectly preserved Roman mosaics.
Not far from Piazza Armerina, there’s the village of Aidone, famous for its Archeological Museum, located inside the Capuchin Convent. This museum is full of Roman artefacts coming from the near Morgantina. Inside this complex, you’ll find some objects of great importance for Italy, in particular, a group of statues lead by the Goddess of Morgantina, which were illegally stolen and brought back to Sicily after a lengthy judicial process.
Not far from the centre of Aidone, you can visit Morgantina’s Archeological Site, unearthed thanks to the excavation organised by Princeton University. This site contains a thousand years of history, from stone age to Roman era. Unfortunately, this fascinating Italian heritage is left in a state of neglect, with tall grass, faded signs and no facilities for buying food or drinks. Despite all of this, I recommend this unique visit. Just avoid it during the hottest summer days.
I hope I raised your curiosity about these places.
I’ll wait for you at our next Italian destination!