With its location at 948 metres above sea level, Enna is the highest positioned main city of a province in Italy. It is situated on a plain between the Monti Erei, at the center of the island of Sicily and is also known as Callimaco l'omphalos (the belly botton).
By Diodoro the city was founded by the Sycuans, during a peace treaty with the Siculi. The Greek domination started in IV century b.C. The city became the "urbs inexpugnabilis" (the impregnable city) under the Romans. At the decline of the Roman Empire, Enna was contested, over the centuries, between Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Hohenstaufen Suebi and Aragons.
The Castle of Lombardia, situated on Eastern corner of the plain, overlooks the whole city. One of the largest and oldest fortresses of Sicily of which six of the original twenty fortified towers are still standing. The actual castle was built on the ruins of an old manor on a project of the architect Riccardo da lentini, commissioned by Federico II Hohenstaufen, and became the Emperor's Summer residence. Here, after the coronation of Federico II as King of Trincaria (Sicily), in 1324 the Sicilian Parliament started to assemble. The name of the fortress is probably connected to this period as there was a garrison of Lombardi soldiers stationed here to defend the complex.
The Tower, entitled to Federico II, a octagonal plan, was built on the probable ruins of a Greek temple, to enforce the defense of that side of the city from the enemy raids.
The National Monument is the Cathedral of Enna, one of the most important examples of Sicilian Baroque style. The building features a façade in yellow tuff stone, a large staircase, three main portals surrounded by six columns and a bell tower decorated with round arches and Doric and Corinthian columns. The interior is divided into one main nave and two aisles and features columns in dark alabaster with engraved capitals and a wonderful wooden coffered ceiling.
The treasure of the Cathedral can be admired in the Museum Alessi, whilst the Art Gallery presents some important masterpieces such as The Madonna with Baby Christ; two painting that feature Saint John the Baptist and Saint John the Evangelist and another artwork that proposes the Mystic Wedding of Santa Caterina.
Worth a visit: the Regional Archeological Museum that is hosted in Palazzo Varisano, where important traces from the local excavations are on exhibition.
Not to miss: the Sanctuary of Papardua, a splendid example of Baroque style, built in a rocky area with a series of caverns, it preserves a decorated wooden ceiling, twelve statues that represent the Apostles, paintings of the Flemish artist Borremans and a series of wonderful plasters.
Worth of mention are: the Church of San Michele Arcangelo (1658), the Church of San Francesco d'Assisi, with a bell tower of '400 and an important wooden Cross of the XV century, the Church of San Marco, a Baroque style monument that preserves a precious altar decoration in fine silver of late '700, the bell tower of San Giovanni Battista and the Fountain that features the Rape of Proserpina, a bronze copy of the masterpiece of the artist Bernini.