On-Site Italian Research
Jewish Italian Research
History: Enna is the highest provincial capital in Italy, in a beautiful and unusual location in the center of Sicily. Archaeological finds attest that the area has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Later it was an indigenous center: first Sican and then Sicel. In the 7th century BC it began to assimilate Greek culture through the influence of Gela, and in the 5th century BC the town was completely Hellenized. In the 4th century BC it was conquered by Dionysius I and then by Agathocles, tyrants of Siracusa. During the first Punic war, Enna was occupied first by the Carthaginians and then by the Romans (258 BC), who declared it a free city. It was at Enna that in 139 BC, under the Romans, the first Slavesí Revolt in history broke out, led by the slave Eunus. At the end of the Roman period the town passed to the Byzantines. They made it a stronghold in their system of defences, in view of its advantageous strategic position. This explains why the Arabs were not able to capture it until 859, and then only through an act of treachery. In this period its original name was changed to Castrogiovanni, which it kept until 1927. The city flourished under Muslim rule: agriculture and trade were once again thriving activities. This continued under Norman rule, when Count Roger left a strong garrison and increased its fortifications. In the Aragonese period it received particular privileges and it was here that Frederick II of Aragon assumed the title of King of Trinacria (1314) and summoned the first parliament (1324). In 1926 it was raised to the status of provincial capital.
Of interest is the Castello di Lombardia and the Torre di Federico. The Town Hall incorporates the Teatro Garibaldi. Only the Campanile remains of the now destroyed Chiesa di San Giovanni (15 century). The Palazzo Pollicarini was built in the 15th century. The Alessi Museum contains the Treasury of the Duomo, the Palazzo Varisano dates from the 15th century and contains the Regional Archaeological Museum. Nearby is Lake Pergusa, a nature reserve. Here, according to myth, Proserpina was carried off by Pluto.
Churches (Piazza Armerina Diocese) include the following:
Events: Holy Week; Mediterranean Grand Prix - International Formula 3 championship, in July, on the Lake Pergusa circuit.
Families researched in these records include the following:
Links to other sites about Enna include:
My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - 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 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.