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Caltabellotta occupies a stunning position on Mount Kratas and overlooking amazing views. It is surrounded by the peaks of Monte Castello, Monte Pellegrino and the Gogala cliff in the Agrigento region of Sicily.
A steep drive takes you up to the hill village of Caltabellotta and once there you have some stunning views over the surrounding countryside and quite a number of villages dotted around the hills.
Caltabellotta village rises up the hill and above it are the castle, cathedral and hermitage. The Norman cathedral was built after the Muslims were defeated. Some parts of the cathedral date back to the 13th century. Its chapel of 'Santa Maria della Catena' contains 16th century frescoes by Antonino Ferraro da Giuliana, a renowned wood carver known for his realism.
Behind the cathedral are the ruins of a castle of Arab origins dating back to the 11th century. The treaty of Caltabellotta was signed in this castle and ended the War of the Vespers.
There are various churches worth visiting in the village including the 14th century Church of Saint Augustine which also contains work by Antonino Ferraro. The Byzantine church of Santa Maria della Pieta is unusual as it is partly carved into the rock!
On the edge of the village is the Hermitage of San Pellegrino which you can visit and inside are caves that have been used as tombs even as far back as prehistoric times. Rumour has it that in one of these caves San Pellegrino slew a dragon that was eating the children of Caltabellotta. Local students act as guides and can give you some of the history of the site.
The Hermitage is also a bed and breakfast accommodation and so you can spend the night here.
Surrounding the village the hills are often covered in almond trees and almonds feature highly in the local dishes of the area. Down towards the coastal areas groves of lemons are also a part of the landscape and feature in the local cuisine.
Places to Visit Nearby
The coastal town of Sciacca is nearby and is the oldest spa town in Sicily.
Not too far away is Realmonte and one of the best beaches of Sicily, possibly of Italy! It is the location of the 'Scala dei Turchi' or 'Turkish staircase'. It is a beautiful natural staircase carved into the white limestone cliffs by the action of the waves. With the backdrop of the turqoise and blue sea it is stunning and instagram fans amongst you will certainly recognise it!
You can find more local travel ideas in the guide.