If you’ve never travelled to Sicily, Italy before, you may not know about all the fantastic places to visit on the island. It’s known for its wealth of abundant history, natural diversity, and a very rich culture. Every Sicilian city has its own why and believe me, it is worth visiting them all.
All right, if you are a cozy traveller and a first time traveller to Sicily, then it makes sense that you would focus on the most touristy places since services and facilities are made easier and more relaxing. But, if you are a curious person who is interested in going beyond the basic tourism aspect, then I’d say that exploring the Sicilian inner lands, which are still off the beaten track, would help you to understand the island better.
In this post called how to spend a day in Enna, I’m going to guide you through the most interesting things to do in Enna varying between nature, food and history so that you will get a complete vision of the city while spending only one day in Enna. I’ll also give you suggestions on what to see in Enna, where to eat in Enna, where to stay in Enna, and some interesting facts about Enna.
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One day in Enna: 4 reasons why you should visit Enna.
- The main reason why I’d suggest you visit Enna is that this hill town is not yet invaded by massive tourism, so it still preserves its true Sicilian characteristics. Indeed, it has a different beat: seeing is believing!!
- The second reason why you should spend a day in Enna is that since it’s located in the centre of Sicily, it is not far from all the other Sicilian cities. Let’s say that wherever you are in Sicily you can reach Enna in maximum 2 or 3 hours. Even if you don’t have a goal to travel to Enna, it is very easy to find yourself crossing through this town when travelling from one Sicilian city to another. So, it is really a good “hop on hop off” place. And let’s be honest, do you really want to leave Sicily without visiting its belly button? It doesn’t make any sense.
- The fact that Enna is off the Sicilian beaten track also means that unlike all the other touristy places, it’s cheap. And this is definitely another reason why you should visit Enna while road tripping in Sicily.
- There is another reason why you should visit Enna. It’s a hill town about 931 meters above the sea level located exactly in the centre of Sicily. There are spectacular viewpoints in Enna. It offers exceptional views of Mount Etna and the surrounding rolling mountains.
Road-Tripping In Sicily? Here is a set of beautiful things you could do!
One day in Enna: Things to do in Enna.
I specified right away that this article called “How to spend a day in Enna” is addressed to those who want to spend only a day in Enna. It means that they can’t see everything since the short given available time doesn’t allow you to see everything. As I already told you, what I’m trying to do here is suggest for you a couple of places to visit, which at the end of your trip to Enna will give you a wide vision of what this town is.
- Cathedral of Enna. The Cathedral of Enna dates back to the Middle Ages and it is today the most important religious building in the city. Located in Piazza Duomo no1, it dominates the whole historic centre of Enna. Characterized by a monumental architectural beauty, the Duomo is named after Maria Most Holy of the Visitation, Patron saint of Enna. For its incredible interior and exterior, in 1943 the Cathedral of Enna was added to the list of National Monuments, as well as being catalogued as a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Admission: free.
- Rocca Di Cerere. It is an enormous rock with an incredible view. The Rocca di Cerere is a unique symbolic place with a great historical, cultural, and even mythological heritage. History and archaeology confirm that this was the location of the most important sanctuary dedicated to Demeter in Greek times, and then to Ceres in Roman times. Unfortunately, nowadays almost nothing remains of the temple that stood on its summit. Despite this, reaching its top (about 25 steps) is well worth it since the spectacular view of Enna standing above the hills and valleys of central Sicily will truly blow your mind away. Admission: free
- Lombardy Castle. It is attached to the Rocca Di Cerere. It is one of the most ancient and largest medieval castles in Italy. Together with the Cathedral, Lombardy Castle is a strong reference point for the habitat of Enna. There is not much to see inside since only the stone structures and the tower remain. Even though that’s the case, it’s well worth taking a quick look at this symbol of the town for the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. Admission: 3 euros.
- Belvedere Walking. While you are strolling around in Enna, don’t miss the Belvedere walkway. It has a breath-taking view over the valley and the beautiful town of Calacibetta. It is even more special during the sunset. Admission: free
- Hilltop Cemetery. Yes, I know, a visit to a cemetery is not a usual way to get to know a place, but Enna’s Hilltop cemetery “Camposanto De Capuccini” gives a visitor a unique insight into the city’s culture. It is a masterpiece with its origins tracked back to the year 1840. Its peculiarity consists of permanent chapels, each different from the others, belonging to private families who from generation to generation use them to preserve the remains of their loved ones. Admission: free
- Obelisk Centre of Sicily. This obelisk is located in one of the highest points of Enna, precisely next to the church of Monte Salvo and indicates the exact geographical centre of Sicily. I think this place is well worth it. Besides the beautiful view it offers, knowing that you are in the centre of the island gives you a strange effect. Admission: free
Once you have done these 6 things in Enna, you won’t have any time left. A day in Enna is only enough to stroll around its historical part and to discover its main attractions. But if you still have time available, know that there are many more things to do in Enna to keep yourself occupied.
Very short in Time? Check out this “Enna Historical Walking Tour With A Guide”
One day in Enna: Where to eat in Enna.
The number of restaurants has increased exponentially since my first visit to Enna and I have never eaten badly in places I have been. Considering also the fact that I have been to Enna 3 times so far I’m pretty convinced of my suggestions.
The thing that I love about the restaurants in Enna is that since it’s not touristy, they are mainly frequented by locals so you still feel the local atmosphere.
Among the ones I have personally tried, here are the five best restaurants in Enna that I can suggest.
- Tommy’s Wine. I think this is one of the best restaurants in Enna. At Tommy’s wine they serve traditional revisited dishes with a wide range of high-quality wine. This place is very small, but it has a couple of seats on the square, I guess reservations are mandatory here because I have always seen it full.
- Trattoria La Rustica. The reason why this restaurant in Enna must be on this list is because this is one of the few places where Enna’s traditional food is still served. At the Trattoria La Rustica, they speak only Italian, but you can have an English menu. La Rustica restaurant in Enna is known among the locals as “La vedova,” the widow. The atmosphere is very Sicilian here and the food is absolutely good.
- Bistrò Paradiso. This is probably one of the most beautiful and cozy restaurants I’ve ever seen in Enna. Besides all the tasteful dishes they offer, the highlight of this place is their garden: it is pleasant and peaceful. They also have plastic tranparent domes which comes in handy for the weather in Enna since it tends to be cooler in the evening, even during the summer season.
- Ariston. This restaurant in Enna specializes in delicious seafood and fish. It also serves some gluten-free dishes. It has a huge hall which can seat a large amount of people, so if you are making a last-minute decision you can count on this place. I also like their location: there is a glass wall from which the old city of Enna built on the rocks can be seen.
- Baglio Balata. Besides offering some traditional Italian food, Baglio Balata restaurant in Enna also has an extensive pizza menu using all local ingredients. (Pizza is available only in the evening as the Italian tradition wants). The restaurant has an inside area and a beautiful patio. They are also equipped for celiacs with gluten-free dishes.
These are my suggestions for the restaurants in Enna and I will keep this list updated since I travel very often to Enna. I also want to say that in addition to the restaurants, Enna also features various bars that offer tasty fast food items. “Bar Delizia” in Piazza Duomo is my favourite but it doesn’t mean that the others are less good. Bar Delizia has delicious sweet and savoury pastries for breakfast but they also make fresh arancini upon request.
One day in Enna: Where to stay in Enna.
Enna, being not so touristy, does not boast of too many accommodations and above all, most of them are nearly rustic. But this is not a problem. What I really want to point out in this chapter about “where to sleep in Enna” is something else.
Like some other cities in Sicily, (Modica, Ragusa Ibla) Enna is built on the mountain and a large amount of houses is carved into the rock, so many B&B I have stayed at were humid both in winter and in summer. I therefore believe that if you just stay one day in Enna, then any place would be fine, but if you decide to stay longer you should consider looking over the options.
I personally suggest for you 2 places to stay in Enna. Places that I loved for their location, interior, and obviously for the lack of humidity.
- Rocca di Cerere Apartments. These completely equipped vacation rentals, right next to the Lombardy castle in the old town of Enna, offer 4 modernly furnished apartments owned and managed by a middle-aged couple, Pina and Pietro. These 4 apartments, Calliope, Kamuth, Euno, and Venere are each different from the others. I mean from basic solution to luxury apartment with hot tub they satisfy everyone’s pocket a little.
- La Casa Sulla Roccia. This accommodation in Enna is a fabulous countryside house by the entrance of the city of Enna with a breath-taking view. It’s managed by Giorgia, a cute girl around 30. Located about 3 km from the old city centre, La Casa Sulla Roccia comes with a hall, kitchen, balcony, bedroom, and a bathroom. This is one of the places with the best view I ever had in my life.
For now these two accommodations in Enna are what I feel I can suggest to you. But my opinion is mainly based on the humidity fact. This last month (July 2022) I stayed 3 nights in Enna in a B&B which was terrifyingly wet. As long as it was only one night I’d never complain, but 3 nights are really too much unless there is a good dehumidifier which on the other hand is quite noisy.
One day in Enna: Some interesting things to know about Enna.
- Enna is right in the centre of Sicily. In fact, it’s called “Umbilicus Siciliae” ( Sicilian Belly Button). Here in fact you can find the “Obelisco Centro Sicilia” which means Obelisk Centre of Sicily.
- The Lombardy Castle is considered to be one of the most important military buildings in Sicily and is one of the largest medieval castles in Italy.
- Enna holds various religious ceremonies and among them the Good Friday Celebration is one of the most famous in Italy.
- Enna is Italy’s highest provincial capital.
- The nature areas of the area of Enna are part of the Rocca di Cerere Geopark.
- Unlike all the other Sicilian cities, Enna is often shrouded in fog. Yes fog, you got it right. Temperatures and weather conditions vary a lot here in Enna. So don’t forget to check the weather conditions before planning your trip to Enna. This is a must.
- Enna is famous for its saffron cheese. It is a yellow coloured spiced cheese with saffron which you must try during your visit to Enna.
- The Rocca di Cerere is also called by the people of Enna, Rocca d’Azeru; where Azirhou is the term used in Arabic Maghrebi to indicate a rocky peak.
- The province of Enna is also known as “Lake district”.
- The view from Enna sweeps over two thirds of the island.
One day in Enna: Conclusion.
Now, if you would like to know if Enna is a worthwhile visit for a few hours, I’d definitely say yes. Besides its breath-taking vistas, which are unique to this town, it offers tourists a great opportunity to understand the real Sicilian life. And, moreover if you want to escape the tourist crowd for a while and breathe some fresh mountain air, Enna is your best choice in Sicily.