On-Site Italian Research
Jewish Italian Research
Caltagirone (Catania Province) is 76 km from Catania, alt. 608 m, on the hills joining the Monti Erei and Iblei and the Rivers Caltagirone and Maraglio, area 382.8 sq km. Its population is just over 37,600, post-code 95041, tel. 0933. Economy: agriculture, handmade ceramics.
It takes its name from the Arab expression Qal'at-al-ganom which means "castle of the genies" due to spirits assumed to dwell in the surrounding caves. There are numerous necropolises in the area dated from the 2nd millenium BC, in addition to prehistoric, neolithic, and early bronze age sites. A Sicel settlement has been identified on Monte San Mauro, southwest of the modern town.
The Arabs built a castle here which was attacked in 1030 by a group of Ligurians led by the Byzantine general George Maniakes. The town flourished under the Normans and Swabians and became a center for the production of ceramics. It was reconstructed after the earthquake of 1693.
Of interest is the Museo della Ceramica and the Instituto d'Arte per la Ceramica. There is a section of the Catania Provincia Archives located at via S. Maria di Gesu, #90.
The Diocese Archives are located at:
Churches (Caltagirone Diocese) include the following:
On July 24-26 is the Festa of San Giacomo. Celebration here from Tuesday through Easter Sunday. International Ceramic Whistle Festival is here in April. International Ceramic Conference is here in May.
Families researched in these records include the following:
Links to learn more about Caltagirone include:
My latest book on CD is titled Sicily, Part 1 and Part 2 is now available on 2 CDs. 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.