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Testasecca Palace

Built during the 19th century in neoclassical style by the family of Count Ignazio Testasecca. It is located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, in front of Palazzo Benintende.

Palazzo Benintende

Made by the architect Giuseppe Di Bartolo, it presents an interesting overlapping of architectural orders: the columns on the main floor are in the Ionic style, while those on the second floor are in the Doric style; there are also numerous medallions and pilasters which increase the architectural value of the building. In 1862 Giuseppe Garibaldi stayed there. It is located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

Provincial Palace

The construction was started by Giuseppe di Bartolo himself in the first half of the 19th century. The architect wanted to build a huge building that would house both the provincial and municipal offices.

The complexity of the work, however, proved to be such that in 1870 the palace was still far from being completed. The project was then resized by the engineer Agostino Tacchini and was intended to house only the offices of the Province.

Among the artists who contributed to the construction of the building, we remember: Luigi Greco from Caltanissetta who created the council chamber and the main staircase; another Caltanissetta, Michele Tripisciano, for the sculptures that decorate the building; Pasquale Sozzi from Catania for the interior decorations.

Pietrarossa Castle

Pietrarossa castle is located on a hill near Caltanissetta. It is assumed that it was built in the 9th century on previous settlements, including Sicani. During the Middle Ages it was a strategic center and around the end of the 11th century there was placed the tomb of Queen Adelasia, granddaughter of King Roger the Norman and in 1378 a parliament of Sicilian barons was held inside it to appoint the four vicars who they were to govern Sicily (Government of the Four Vicars).

In 1567 a strong earthquake caused the collapse of the castle of which only the remains of two towers remained standing, still visible today. The Angeli cemetery was built at the foot of the ruins of the Castello di Pietrarossa.

Carmelite Palace

The construction of the palace started around the year 1371. The area in which it currently stands, at the time, was well outside the city walls and housed a rural church dedicated to San Giacomo.
At the behest of Guglielmo Peralta and his wife Eleonora d’Aragona, daughter of the Marquis of Randazzo, the convent of the barefoot Carmelites and the annexed church of Maria Santissima Annunziata, commonly called Madonna del Carmine, were built near the church.

With the urban expansion that the city underwent in the following centuries (and in particular in the 16th century), the convent complex was incorporated into the city fabric, flanked by the new church of San Giacomo and the church of San Paolino.
During the 19th century, due to the suppression of religious orders, the Discalced Carmelites left the convent which was demolished to build the municipal seat; the churches that flanked it were demolished and, in place of that of the Saviour, set back, the city theater (the Teatro Regina Margherita) was built. The building currently houses the city’s Town Hall and has been so enriched over the years in its prospectus that the only trace of the ancient convent is made up of some sections of masonry incorporated into the current walls.

Moncada Palace

Palazzo Moncada also known as Bauffremont was built in the first half of the 17th century by Count Guglielmo Moncada and must have been one of the most important noble palaces in Sicily, as evidenced by the grandeur of the building and the precious friezes (anthropomorphic and zoomorphic) of the balconies. However, its construction was not completed, as William was appointed Viceroy of Valencia and moved to Spain.

Remained the property of the Moncadas until the beginning of the 20th century, in 1915 it was purchased by Princess Maria Giovanna of Bauffremont, who deprived it of its residential use and had a large room with an Art Nouveau gallery built, which was used for the representation of shows theatrical.
In 1938 the building was purchased by the Trigona della Floresta family and later used, with the construction of a hall inside the courtyard, for the representation of cinema and theater performances, with the name of Cineteatro Trieste.

It still fulfills this role, but since 2009 the name of Cineteatro Bauffremont has been replaced with Multisala Moncada. Since 2010, new rooms have also been opened in the building used as an art gallery, to host exhibitions of various kinds and impromptu events. Here there are two permanent exhibitions: one on the ancient lords of Caltanissetta, the Moncadas, and the other dedicated to the great sculptor from Caltanissetta Michele Tripisciano.

Triton Fountain

The fountain of the triton consists of a bronze group depicting a triton trying to tame a sea horse in front of two sea monsters that threaten him. Inspired by Greek mythology, the Triton is a marine god with a body half man and half fish, son of Poseidon and Amphitrite. The mythological figure has often been used in the construction of fountains and nymphaeums, even Bernini placed it in his famous fountain in Rome.
It was sculpted by Michele Tripisciano from Caltanissetta in 1890 and initially placed in the entrance hall of Palazzo del Carmine: the fountain was created by the architect Gaetano Averna to be placed in its current location, in the center of Piazza Garibaldi, where it was inaugurated on 15 December 1956, to replace an old iron lamppost with five lights.

Between the end of 2008 and the beginning of 2009, the entire Piazza Garibaldi underwent paving work with lava stone slabs to prevent the passage of cars and allow the free passage of pedestrians. On this occasion, the triton fountain was also restored and lighting systems were installed which brought it back to its former glory. Often the triton fountain, even stylized, is used as a distinctive symbol of the city.

Streets, main squares and municipal villas

In the city there are several streets and squares with a notable historical and urban interest; some of them are:

  • Piazza Garibaldi, in the heart of the historic center, where the four historic districts of the city converge,
  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele,
  • Corso Umberto I,
  • Viale Regina Margherita.

There are three municipal villas: Villa Cordova, in Viale Conte Testasecca, Villa Amedeo, in Viale Regina Margherita, Villa Monica, in Via Filippo Turati.
Of the three, Villa Amedeo is the largest public garden and constitutes the “green lung” of the city. There are also other public green areas equipped for recreational activities, such as the Robinson park, in the Redentore district. Despite this, the usable public green area stands at 1.83 m² per inhabitant, placing the capital of Caltanissetta in 98th place in the national ranking.

Other green areas of lesser importance are found in Piazza della Repubblica; in Piazza Giovanni XXIII; in Piazza Falcone and Borsellino; in the area between Via Catania and Via Galilei; in Via Niscemi; in Piazza Jacono and in Via Monte San Giuliano, where the city’s belvedere is located.

UNRRA Casas village

The UNRRA Casas village is located about 3 km from the historic centre, and is incorporated within the city itself. It is a housing complex, built immediately after the war, by the international organization UNRRA Casas (United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration), an organization set up in Washington in 1944, to provide aid and assistance to populations affected by the war, in past countries under Allied control.

In the general master plan of the city, the UNRRA Casas village is classified A2 “areas of the post-unification city or city of the early twentieth century”, of historical interest and subject to protection and limitations of building interventions.