Day 13, 14, 15, Enna, Sicilia

[11/6/2019: Eric is safe and sound back in Bologna…]

October 18, 2019

Enna is a city on a mountain centrally located on the island that was pivotal in securing any kingdom unifying Sicilia. It was needed to monitor any invader troop movements in the center of the island that might attack a coastal port city from the inland side. Apparently there were a series of watch towers that communicated by fire light at night if invaders were approaching.

Like other areas of Sicilia, Enna had been occupied in prehistory times and in later times was occupied by every player including the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans and Spanish. For general background click on this link:

Enna is built on a limestone formation which include aquifers that provides an abundant water source. No rivers were needed to establish the city or its fortifications on this mountain.

The city is located here:

The ruins of the castle are on the upper right.
To the north east is Mt. Etna.
A nearby city, Calascibetta.
The castle outer wall.
This was just one quadrant of the fortification for horses and livestock. This was a very large fortification.
A monument to the slave, Euno or Eunus, who led the slave rebellion of 135 BC.  Beware:  I would not call him a hero. The events were very sad.  See the links below.

The slave rebellion was triggered by terrible conditions and a very large population ratio of slaves to masters under Roman rule. Here is a link to information on the 1st Servile War:

Here is a high level biography on Euno:

Flowers being sold on the street always cheer me up.

A classic Sicilian lunch…

Fried rice balls with a cheese and pistachio nut center (arancini), melted mozzarella with capers and fig sauce, spinach and cheese in fried dough, sun dried sweet peppers in olive oil, and olives in a balsamic vinegar bath. And a very nice glass of Sicilian wine. Price: 8 euro.
An ancient city gate.
There were many elderly people living in this city. Navigating the hills and cobble streets must be difficult for the physically impaired.

I came across a church called the Sanctuary of Papardura.  Around 1600 AD Christians were praying in a cave and apparently a miracle of an image of the crucifiction of Christ became visible when some loose rock fell from the roof of the cave.  The caves are still there and look like they were used at one point by the Roman Catholic Byzantines as tombs. The annual festival held in September is an annual pilgrimage to celebrate the miracle and live their faith.  

Here is a link to the Sanctuary of Papardura:

Mosaics leading down to the Church.
Don’t judge a church by it outside. The caves or tombs are to the left.
Note the steps cut into the rock.
The door is open. So it must be okay to go inside?
Looked like a lid to a crypt? I think it was a model of Jesus Christ because of the wound on his hand.

The art took my breath away.

The following images were of things I saw wandering around Enna:

“Hitting a Brick Wall”
Lust is ugly. Note the sad eye on the upper right.
Duomo di Enna, construction started in 1307 and currently being rehabilitated. The next set of photos are from inside the church.

On to the next city…