Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

Caltagirone, Italy

Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte is a set of world-famous steps in Caltagirone. It was built in 1606 in order to connect the ancient part of Caltagirone to the new city built in the upper part. The staircase, over 130 meters long, is flanked by balcony buildings and is today one of the identifying monuments of the city.

In 1844, the staircase underwent modifications, among which the elimination of rest areas stands out, which results in a lower inclination.

Since 1954, the steps of Santa Maria del Monte have been entirely decorated with polychrome ceramic tiles, following the ancient local artisan tradition.

The figurative themes of the ceramics are floral or geometric, and represent the Arab, Norman, Angevin-Aragonese, Spanish, Renaissance, Baroque, eighteenth-century, nineteenth-century and contemporary styles.

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Details

Founded: 1606
Category: Miscellaneous historic sites in Italy

More Information

en.wikipedia.org

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User Reviews

Louisa Rose Harkness (2 years ago)
This staircase is absolutely beautiful. Painted ceramics line each step and reveal the history/culture of Sicily. There is some information available on site, but I would reccomend doing a little research in advance. The staircase is smaller than it looks and only takes a few minutes to climb (if you don't stop and admire all the ceramics). When I visited in November 2022, the staircase was very clean and well-kept. There are many cafés and restaurants nearby, so this is a good spot to stop for lunch.
Aleš Sýkora (Ála) (2 years ago)
Very nice stairs! Cool view at the top. They are really high lol :)
Matt Firth (2 years ago)
Worth a visit, great view from the top and lovely decorated steps. They're quite deep steps though so hard going.
Mark Vassallo (2 years ago)
Open area public stairs that take one down from the old town to the new town and was built after the great earthquake of 1692. 142 steps with 142 different ceramic hand painted tiles creating a museum of ceramic art in its own right. More often than not during the fairer part of the year the steps are adorned with flowers depicting dates or images. During the 14th & 15th August each year the stairs are decorated with lanterns powered by olive oil, a feat that involves a couple of hundred volunteers.
Tulio Coelho (2 years ago)
Must see. You can take a tuk-tuk ride and ask to be left of the top of the stairs, instead of climbing the steps, specially if you are not so young…
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