On-Site Italian Research
Some scholars think this town originated with ancient Nissa, others think it was founded by the Arabs. The name is from the Arabic Qal'at (castle) and Nissa. Written history began in 1086 when Count Roger founded the Priorato di San Giovanni and started development of the area. In the 14th century it was caught in the struggles between the Ventimiglia and Chiaromonte factions. In 1406 it passed to the Moncades of Paterno. Between the 15th and 16th centuries, it expanded beyond the medieval walls with the creation of the quarters of Santa Flavia, San Rocco gli Zingari and San Francesco. It became the provincial capital in 1818. It was a major center of sulphur mining.
Of interest is the Mineralogical, Palaeontological and Sulphur-Mine Museum, the Regional Archaeological Museum, the Folklore Musuem (in Chiesa di San Pio X), and the Civic Museum. Also of interest is the Palazzo Moncada, the Palazzo Vescovile, and the Castello di Pietrarossa.
The Provincial Archives (Archivio di Stato) has a web site at http://www.infoservizi.it/archivi. They are located at:
The Diocese Archives are located at:
Churches (Caltanissetta Diocese) include the following:
Families researched in those records include the following:
Links to other sites about Caltanissetta include:
My latest book on CD is titled Agrigento, Palermo and Catania Provinces (Italy) - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 600 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.