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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