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Sperlinga is a lovely village set in the hills in the commune of Enna in central Sicily. It is classified as one of the most beautiful villages of Italy, one of eighteen that can be found in Sicily.
The village of Sperlinga winds upwards to the castle which sits at the top of the village on a craggy cliff. The castle dates back probably to Norman times and is built into the rocky cliff on which it sits. It is a bit of a hike to get to the castle but worth it for the castle and the views from up here.
The caves in the lower levels of the castle served as grain stores and in the levels above the castle includes stables, a forge and a prison.The main building has a large hall and rooms and the facade has mullionned windows looking out to the courtyard. The castle is open to visitors.
In the thirteenth century the castle held out for a whole year against a siege. Inside were troops loyal to the French king Charles I but the island of Sicily became the property of the King of Aragon at the end of the war.
The name Sperlinga is derived from the word spelunca meaning cave and the troglodyte caves of Sperlinga are fascinating. The caves were inhabited from prehistoric times until the 1960s! Some are open now for visits. Different caves are connected by open passages and the cave has been excavated to form living rooms each with an oven.
A museum has been set up in some of the caves and includes displays of pottery and utensils found during excavation of the caves.
In the village there are a couple of churches. The main church is dedicated to Saint John the Baptist, the patron saint of Sperlinga and there is also the Church of Our Lady of Mercy next to the castle.
The area around Sperlinga is an area of great beauty. The Sperlinga Wood is a protected area with a wide variety of plants and wildlife, and the "Park of the Duke" is rich in Mediterranean plants.
Because of its beautiful location, the castle and caves that dominate the village and the quiet charm of the village, Sperlinga is classed as a "most beautiful village of Italy".
Places to visit nearby
The seaside town of Cefalu makes an excellent base for visiting the region of Sicily inland of the town.
Map of Sperlinga and places to visit
Sperlinga places to visit