Visit San Cataldo
The town of San Cataldo is found in central Sicily, just south-west of Caltanissetta (and north east from Agrigento). Like many Sicilian towns, much of what we see today comes from the 17th century, but with a history of occupation stretching back much earlier.
Start your visit to San Cataldo at the Mother Church (Chiesa Madre), built around 1633 in the heart of the town and close to the castle. The exterior was substantially transformed in the 18th century. It is inside that we find the greatest treasures of this church, in the form of a statue of San Cataldo, a crucifix carved from ivory, and some notable paintings (18th century).
Other important churches in San Cataldo include the Church of St. Nicholas, known for its works in stucco; the church of the Mercedari Fathers, known for its statue of the Madonna; and the 18th century Rosary Church, with its statue of San Francesco di Paola.
Some other important monuments in San Cataldo include the Capuchin Monastery and the 18th century palace-castle of the Galletti Princes.
Although there was an earlier castle in San Cataldo, the castle we see today was built as a combined palace and castle by the Galletti Princes in the early 18th century - or at least they started it, only for it to be later finished in the neo-Gothic style. Note also the two towers, built by King Philip III: 1578-1621, as defences for San Cataldo. You can see one of the towers on Mount Taborra (the clock was added in the 18th century).
Places to visit near San Cataldo
Vassallaggi: the archaeological site of Vassallaggi, on a hill near San Cataldo, has revealed traces of human occupation back to the Bronze Age, with further occupation in the Ancient Greek epoch (around 600 BC). Interestingly two early communities have been identified here, first the Sicanians then later the Sicules. Various items of pottery, knives etc have been found - the presence of the Sicanians is known because their 'trademark' red pottery has been found.
Natural highlights in the region near San Cataldo include the scenic landscape of the area - see Mimiani, Gabbara and Mustigarufi.