Caltagirone, capital of ceramics, Sicily • Italy

Embark on a captivating journey to Caltagirone, Sicily's capital of ceramics, in an immersive video that lasts less than 10 minutes. Explore the grandeur of Santa Maria del Monte staircase, stroll through the charming old city streets, and marvel at the Basilica-Cathedral of San Giuliano. From the city's rich Norman heritage, to the rise of the ceramics industry and the transformative earthquake of 1693, this video captures the essence of this unique place. Complemented by an informative text detailing the historical significance of each landmark, this visual experience will leave you enriched and enlightened. Caltagirone - where every stone tells a story. Start your Sicilian adventure now.

This film was made on the basis of photos and videos taken during the trip Italy: Seductive Sicily 2022

vimeo chapterA click on this icon above displays the list of chapters of this film about Sicily in Italy. A click on a dot goes directly to a chapter.

Reading the text below will help you better understand the cultural context of the images in this video.
Chapters: 

00:38 • Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

02:05 • Santa Maria del Monte church

03:49 • the streets of the old town

05:06 • The Cathedral-Basilica of San Giulianov

07:19 • Walk around the cathedral

 

Caltagirone

 

Caltagirone is a town in southern Sicily which, like virtually all towns in the region, has origins dating back to ancient Greece. However, almost nothing is known of the city in Greek times or later in Roman times.

It took until the arrival of the Arabs in the middle of the 7th century to see the first allusions to Caltagirone in the annals.

The Emirate of Sicily had built a fortress there called Cal'at Ghiran. This fortress was taken by the Byzantines and then by the Normans.

 

the normands

 

The term Norman means "man of the north" and by extension the Vikings, peoples of Northern Europe who sowed terror on the French, English, Irish and Scottish coasts from the beginning of the 9th century. Following an agreement with the Carolingian kings at the beginning of the 10th century and in exchange for their conversion to Christianity and a military alliance aimed at protecting the French coasts from new incursions, the Vikings settled in the West of France and founded the Norman State. The Norman State would quickly expand through the conquests of England, then Ireland and Scotland by William the Conqueror. Later, these same Normans conquered southern Italy and Sicily where they would found the Kingdom of Sicily which lasted until the unification of Italy in the 19th century.

 

Caltagirone, capital of ceramics.

 

The city experienced an economic boom following the conquest of the region by the Normans. They established the ceramics industry there at the end of the 11th century, an industry that still makes the city famous today.

The terrible earthquake of 1693 which ravaged and razed a large part of the Sicilian towns did not spare Caltagirone. The city was completely destroyed and the beginning of the 18th century saw the reconstruction of the city in a Baroque style, like many other cities in the region.

 

Caltagirone ceramics 

 

The ceramic art of Caltagirone is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. While the industry took off with the arrival of the Romans, ceramics had been made in Caltagirone for much longer. There were many potters in Caltagirone before the arrival of the Arabs. 

If the art of pottery developed in this region, it is on the one hand thanks to the quality of its clays and on the other hand thanks to the many forests surrounding the city and which offered enough wood to heat many pottery kilns.

 

about the place, Caltagirone:

Caltagirone is a town in southern Sicily. Completely razed by the terrible earthquake of 1693, the city was rebuilt in the Baroque style of the early 18th century like many other localities in the region. 

Caltagirone established a solid reputation from the beginning of the Middle Ages for the quality of its ceramics. 

The name of the city comes from the Arabic qal'at-al-jarar, which means "pottery castle", which confirms the importance of pottery and ceramics before the arrival of the Arabs in the 7th century.

 

Spoken comments in the film: 

Caltagirone, a town in southern Sicily, is famous for the quality of the ceramics produced by its artisans for many centuries. Its name comes from an Arabic expression meaning Castle of pottery. Like most towns in the region, Caltagirone was razed by the terrible earthquake of 1693 and rebuilt in the Baroque style at the beginning of the 18th century.

What's the weather like in Caltagirone?

 

Music:

 - YouTube video library - Progressive Moments

 - YouTube video library - Pure Potentiality - Benjamin Martins

 - YouTube video library - Side Path

Disclaimer: Despite its appropriateness, copyright issues prevent the use of italian traditional music in "Caltagirone, capital of ceramics, Sicily • Italy", hence the use of royalty-free music. Despite our careful selection, some might regret this decision, which is necessary to avoid potential lawsuits. Although difficult, this decision is the only viable solution.

ceramic workshop, Caltagirone, Sicily • Italy
staircase of Santa Maria del Monte, Caltagirone • Italy • Sicily

staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

ceramics at the foot of the Santa Maria del Monte church, Caltagirone • Italy • Sicily

ceramics at the foot of the Santa Maria del Monte church

typical alley of the city, Caltagirone • Italy • Sicily

typical alley of the city

Cathedral Basilica of San Giuliano, Caltagirone • Italy • Sicily

Cathedral Basilica of San Giuliano

Caltagirone, Sicily • Italy

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