Enna is the only land-locked province of Sicily and it is entirely mountainous. Because the area is isolated in the sense that it doesn't have a coast easy for invaders to access, it has the only provincial capital that was founded by indigineous people rather than by invaders. The capital city, Enna, is also the highest capital in Sicily. When the ancient Greeks found Enna in 700 BC, they were able to gather and record information about the Elami, the Sicani and the Siculi.
The Romans got control of Enna in 258 BC, and the occupation was such an unpleasant one that the ruling Roman consul sacked the city and massacred the people rather than risk an uprising during the Punic Wars with Carthage. Enna was also site of the first slave revolt against the Romans, and, although it was unsuccessful, it provided inspiration for other future uprisings.
In later years, Enna became the focal point in the struggle between the Byzantines and the Arabs, each of which had one half of the island but could not get beyond Enna. The Arabs did manage to wrest control of central Sicily and continued their march eastward, gaining control of the entire island around AD 900. Arab control lasted until 1087 when the Normans invaded successfully.
In mythology, Persephone, the daughter of Zeus and Ceres, was abducted by Hades and carried to the underworld. Ceres, who controlled agriculture and weather, descended into a depression so deep that famine blanketed the world. Zeus intervened and persuaded Hades to release Persephone, but she had to eat a pomegranite seed, guaranteeing that she would return to Hades for four months a year. This is the myth behind winter.
Because Enna is land-locked, its cuisine is very different from that of coastal Sicily. Pork, sheep, lamb, eggs, cheeses and vegetables are very important to the food of the province. Scrambled eggs with tomatoes, rabbit in ragu, tomatoes au gratin and a version of egg drop soup are some of the classic dishes in the province. Piacentinu, famous in the province of Enna, is a sheep’s milk cheese flavored with saffron, which gives it a deep yellowish tint.
The Lombard Castle and Frederick’s Tower, both built by Frederick II, are the main medieval monuments in the city of Enna. Also in the city of Enna is the Alessi Museum, which has a wonderful coin collection and a collection of Renaissance jewelry. The Piazza Armerina, about 20 miles from the city of Enna, has beautiful mosaics to enjoy.
In nearby Aidone, Morgantina also has some great ancient ruins; a mint and an ampitheatre that dates to 300 BC are still visible. The town of Centuripe also has also has archaeological sites and a museum with Roman and Greek artifacts. All of the towns of Enna also have beautiful churches in a range of architectural styles.
Enna Province Information
Video of Roman Villa of the Casale, Piazza Armerina, Sicily
Enna Tourism Site
Sicilian Provinces: Agrigento, Caltanissetta, Catania, Enna, Messina, Palermo, Ragusa, Trapani