Starting your visit from the heart of the city at Piazza Vittorio Emanuele; on the north side you'll encounter the church of San Francesco d'Assisi, where the only original part is the bell tower from the 1500s. In the Piazza is a bronze replica (the original is in Rome, at the Galleria Borghese) of Bernini's Rape of Persephone; Persephone was the daughter of Demeter, goddess of agriculture and fertility, whose cult was rooted here in Sicily. From the square make your way east along Via Roma, Enna's main thoroughfare lined with impressive buildings where most of the tourist attractions are located. As you climb your way up the street you'll traverse a succession of small squares: At Piazza Umberto, you'll see on the right hand side the elegant facade of the Municipio (town hall), a neoclassical structure which has expanded over the years to incorporate the adjacent opera house. On the left, at Piazza Colajanni, is the 17th-century church of Santa Chiara -- a war memorial and burial ground, it oddly enough pays homage to a non-religious event: Part of the decor of the majolica tiled floor depicts the beginning of steam navigation. Just beyond the square are the remains of the 15th-century Palazzo Pollicarini, which still retains some Catalan Gothic elements. It has now been converted into a private apartment complex. This is the last of the small squares before you reach the Duomo, the city's main church. Launched by Queen Eleanor, wife of Frederick III of Aragon, in 1307 on the site of a temple dedicated to Persephone, and nearly wiped out by a devastating fire in 1446, restoration was only begun one hundred years later. As a consequence, its architectural styles span three eras, from medieval Gothic to late Renaissance to baroque. The graceful Gothic apse and transept were part of the original structure, while the rest of the church boasts many fine works of art from the baroque period including paintings by Flemish artist Willem Borremans. Behind the Duomo lying east is the Museo Alessi (Alessi Museum), which houses a collection of area artifacts, among which are the missiles, or glandes, used during the Servile War. Also of note are the 7th- to 6th-century B.C. Egyptian ushabti figurines said to have been found here. The Duomo Treasury (Tesoro) on the first floor showcases exquisite examples of Renaissance jewelry, with the crowning glory, so to speak, the splendid gold and jewel encrusted "Crown of the Virgin," from 1653. The Duomo is open from 8am to 7pm daily, and the Treasury is open Tuesday through Sunday from 9am to 1pm and 4 to 7pm.
Across from Piazza Mazzini is the recently reopened Museo Archeologico Varisano (Varisano Archaeological Museum) housed in the palace of the same name. It houses finds from the environs, from prehistoric artifacts to medieval pieces. The museum is open daily 9am to 1pm and 3 to 6pm and costs 2€ for adults, 1€ for children 11 and under and seniors over 65.
As you make your way toward the end of Via Roma you'll arrive at Enna's main attraction, the Castello Lombardo (Lombard Castle) built by Frederick II in the early part of the 13th century over a pre-existing Arab fortification. It is thought that its name had to do with the fact that Frederick II called in troops from Lombardy in northern Italy to defend the castle. In the 14th century the Aragonese Frederick III was crowned here as King of Sicily and enhanced the castle's defenses. Originally having 20 towers, only 6 have survived to the present day: The Pisan Tower is the highest, offering spectacular views of Sicily's countryside. Built on three levels of courtyards, one level is also an open-air theatre. Archaeological excavations are underway in the other two and you can see the remains of a church and a few tombs. From the ramparts to the north, you can view the Rocca di Cerere, where the old temple to the goddess of agriculture once stood, and beyond in the distance, Mount Etna.
Heading towards Enna Bassa, Enna's other defensive fortification from the Middle Ages is Torre Federiciana (Frederick's Tower), known also as Castello Vecchio, standing 24m (79 ft.) high on top of a hill in the public gardens on the opposite side of town. Local legend has it that Frederick II, wanting to mark the exact center of Sicily, built this tower and labeled it "the tower of the winds." Originally having three floors, the top floor collapsed in time. The tower was built on an octagonal foundation instead of the more common round or square floor plan.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.