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you are here: Home Sicily Sicily's hinterland Centuripe

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Centuripe

Description

The modern town of Centuripe (Enna) stands on the same site as the ancient settlement, on a massif (730 m a.s.l.) overlooking the valleys of the rivers Simeto, Dittaino, and Salso, along the ancient route linking Catania to the northern coast of Sicily via Enna.
The town, founded by the Sicels in the 8th century B.C., soon came into contact with the Chalcidian colonies on the eastern coast of Sicily. It saw a period of prosperity between the 3rd and 1st centuries B.C. during Roman Empire. Many private and public monuments dating to the 2nd-3rd century A.D. are preserved, which together with those at Taormina, Catania and Syracuse constitute the most substantial evidence of Roman construction techniques in Sicily. So it was during the time of the Roman Empire that Centuripe saw its heyday, which is attested by the many impressive ruins, monuments and a rich complex of sculptures and numerous inscriptions.
Several factors suggest that in that in the 2nd century a local family came to console the son of one of the members of Emperor Hadrian's entourage, who allowed Centuripe to establish a flourishing relationship with Rome.
Among the most evocative finds remaining in Centuripe are the Augustali Roman Baths from the 1st-2nd century (a raised building which overlooked a colonnaded street), two Monumental tower tombs, the Customs (of which only the upper floor is visible) and the Corradino Castle.
The ancient centre was continuously occupied until the 13th century, when it was destroyed Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and re-founded over three hundred years later. In fact, the present urban layout of narrow streets made for animal-drawn traffic dates to the 16th century.

The city has a rich heritage of archaeological finds testifying the past glory but these are scattered in the museums of Paris Berlin New York London Catania Syracuse Trapani Rome and Milan.

Map

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