.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{box-sizing:border-box;width:100%;padding:5px;border:none;font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .hidden-title{font-weight:bold;line-height:1.6;text-align:left}.mw-parser-output .hidden-content{text-align:left}@media all and (max-width:500px){.mw-parser-output .hidden-begin{width:auto!important;clear:none!important;float:none!important))You can help expand this article with text translated from the corresponding article in Italian. (January 2022) Click [show] for important translation instructions. Machine translation, like DeepL or Google Translate, is a useful starting point for translations, but translators must revise errors as necessary and confirm that the translation is accurate, rather than simply copy-pasting machine-translated text into the English Wikipedia. Do not translate text that appears unreliable or low-quality. If possible, verify the text with references provided in the foreign-language article. You must provide copyright attribution in the edit summary accompanying your translation by providing an interlanguage link to the source of your translation. A model attribution edit summary is Content in this edit is translated from the existing Italian Wikipedia article at [[:it:Enna]]; see its history for attribution. You should also add the template ((Translated|it|Enna)) to the talk page. For more guidance, see Wikipedia:Translation.
Castrugiuvanni (Sicilian)
Comune di Enna
Panorama of Enna
Panorama of Enna
Flag of Enna
Coat of arms of Enna
Enna in the Province of Enna
Enna in the Province of Enna
Location of Enna
Enna is located in Italy
Location of Enna in Italy
Enna is located in Sicily
Enna (Sicily)
Coordinates: 37°33′48″N 14°16′34″E / 37.56333°N 14.27611°E / 37.56333; 14.27611
ProvinceEnna (EN)
FrazioniEnna Bassa, Pergusa, Borgo Cascino, Calderari, Bondo Ennate
 • MayorMaurizio Dipietro
 • Total357 km2 (138 sq mi)
931 m (3,054 ft)
 (30 November 2017)[2]
 • Total27,268
 • Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
94100, 94100
Dialing code0935
Patron saintSS. Mary of Visitation
Saint dayJuly 2
WebsiteOfficial website

Enna (Italian pronunciation: [ˈɛnna] or [ˈenna];[3] Ancient Greek: Ἔννα; Latin: Henna, less frequently Haenna), known from the Middle Ages until 1926 as Castrogiovanni (Sicilian: Castrugiuvanni [ˌkaʂʂ(ɽ)ʊddʒʊˈvannɪ]), is a city and comune located roughly at the center of Sicily, southern Italy, in the province of Enna, towering above the surrounding countryside. It has earned the nicknames belvedere (panoramic viewpoint) and ombelico ("navel") of Sicily.

At 931 m (3,054 ft) above sea level, Enna is the highest Italian provincial capital.


Enna is situated near the center of the island; whence the Roman writer Cicero called it Mediterranea maxime, reporting that it was within a day's journey of the nearest point on all the three coasts. The peculiar situation of Enna is described by several ancient authors, and is one of the most remarkable in Sicily. The ancient city was placed on the level summit of a gigantic hill, surrounded on all sides with precipitous cliffs almost wholly inaccessible. The few paths were easily defended, and the city was abundantly supplied with water which gushes from the face of the rocks on all sides. With a plain or tableland of about 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) in circumference on the summit, it formed one of the strongest natural fortresses in the world.[citation needed]


Archaeological excavations have revealed artifacts dating from the 14th century BCE, proving human presence in the area since Neolithic times. A settlement from before the 11th century BCE, assigned by some to the Sicanians, has been identified at the top of the hill; later it was a center of the Sicels.[citation needed]

In historical times, Enna became renowned in Sicily and Italy for the cult of the goddess Demeter (the Roman Ceres). Her grove was known as the umbilicus Siciliae ("The navel of Sicily"). Ceres' temple in Henna was a famed site of worship.[4]

The origin of the toponym Henna remains obscure.[citation needed]

Classical period

The Rock of Ceres, an important site for devotion to the goddess.

Dionysius I of Syracuse repeatedly attempted to take over Enna. At first he encouraged Aeimnestus, a citizen of Enna, to seize the sovereign power. Afterward Dionysius I turned against him and assisted the Ennaeans to get rid of their despot. But it was not till a later period that, after repeated expeditions against the neighbouring Sicilian cities, Dionysius took control of the city by betrayal in 397 BCE.[5]

Agathocles later controlled Enna. When the Agrigentines under Xenodicus began to proclaim the restoration of the other cities of Sicily to freedom, the Ennaeans were the first to join their standard, and opened their gates to Xenodicus, 309 BCE. Accounts of the First Punic War repeatedly refer to Enna; it was taken first by the Carthaginians under Hamilcar, and subsequently recaptured by the Romans, but in both instances by treachery and not by force.[citation needed]

In the Second Punic War, while Marcellus was engaged in the siege of Syracuse (214 BCE), Enna became the scene of a fearful massacre. The defection of several Sicilian towns from Rome had alarmed Pinarius the governor of Enna. In order to forestall any treachery, he used the Roman garrison to kill the citizens, whom he had gathered in the theater, and killed them all. The soldiers were allowed to plunder the city.[citation needed]

Eighty years later Enna was the center of the First Servile War in Sicily (134 BCE - 132 BCE), which erupted under the lead of Eunus, a former slave. His forces took over Enna. It was the last place that held out against the proconsul Rupilius, and was at length betrayed into his hands. According to Strabo, the city suffered much damage after the Romans regained control. He believed this was the start of its decline.[citation needed]

Cicero referred to it repeatedly in a way to suggest that it was still a flourishing municipal town: it had a fertile territory, well-adapted for the growth of cereal grains, and was diligently cultivated till it was rendered almost desolate by the exactions of Verres. From this time little is known about Enna: Strabo speaks of it as still inhabited, though by a small population, in his time: and the name appears in Pliny among the municipal towns of Sicily, as well as in Ptolemy and the Itineraries.[citation needed]

When the Roman Empire was divided in 395 CE, Sicily became part of the Western Roman Empire. The noted senatorial family of the Nicomachi had estates in Sicily. Around 408 the politician and grammarian Nicomachus Flavianus worked on an edition of the first 10 books of Livy during a stay on his estate in Enna. This was recorded in the subscriptions of the manuscripts of Livy.[citation needed]

Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Enna flourished throughout the Middle Ages as an important Byzantine stronghold. In 859, in the course of the Islamic conquest of Sicily, after several attempts and a long siege, the town was taken by Muslim troops, who entered one by one through a sewer to breach the town's defenses. Afterwards, 8,000 residents of the city were massacred by Muslim forces.[6] The Arabic name for the city, Qaṣr Yānih (قصر يانه, "Fort of John"), was a combination of qaṣr (a corruption of the Latin castrum, "fortress"), and a corruption of Henna. The city retained its name in the local dialect of Sicilian as Castru Janni (Italianized as Castrogiovanni), until Benito Mussolini ordered renaming in 1927.[citation needed]

The Normans captured Enna in 1087.[5] Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Sicily, established a summer residence here, which is now called the Torre di Federico ("Frederick Tower"). Troops of North Italian soldiers,[7] from regions such as Lombardy, Piedmont, Liguria and Emilia-Romagna, came to settle in the city and neighbouring towns such as Nicosia and Piazza Armerina. Gallo-Italic dialects are still spoken in these areas, dating from this early occupation.[citation needed]

Enna had a prominent role in the Sicilian Vespers and the ensuing War of the Sicilian Vespers. Forced to retreat to the Sicilian interior in during the Angevin invasion of 1299, King Frederick III of Sicily chose the highly defensible Enna as his headquarters. The city blocked the Angevins from advancing into central Sicily, and an Angevin army attempting to advance on the city was defeated at the Battle of Gagliano in 1300.[8]

Frederick III favored the city, embellishing it with honors, and following the vespers era Enna enjoyed a short communal autonomy. However, it suffered a period of decay under the later Spanish domination.


It was restored as provincial capital in the 1920s. In 2002 it became a university city.[citation needed]

The citizens of the city have a high incidence of multiple sclerosis (MS). MS is also prevalent in Sardinia, which has the second highest incidence in the Mediterranean basin.[9]

Classical mythology

The Lake of Pergusa, the mythological location of the Rape of Persephone.

The neighborhood of Enna is celebrated in myth as the place whence Persephone (Latin: Proserpine) was carried off by Pluto, god of the underworld.[10] The spot assigned by local tradition as the scene of this event was a small lake surrounded by lofty and precipitous hills, about 8 km from Enna. The meadows abound in flowers, and a nearby cavern or grotto was believed to be where the king suddenly emerged. This lake is called "Pergus" by Ovid [11] and Claudian.[12] Neither Cicero nor Diodorus refers to any lake in relation to this myth. The former says that around Enna were lacus lucique plurimi, et laetissimi flores omni tempore anni[13] ("very many lakes and groves, and very delightful flowers at every time of year"). Diodorus describes the spot whence Persephone was carried off as a meadow so full of fragrant flowers that hounds could not follow their prey. He described the meadow as enclosed on all sides by steep cliffs, and having groves and marshes in the neighborhood, but does not refer to a lake.[14] Both he and Cicero allude to a cavern, as if describing a definite site. In the 21st century, a small lake is found in a basin-shaped hollow surrounded by great hills, and a cavern near is noted as that described by Cicero and Diodorus. But much of the flowers and trees had disappeared by the 19th century, when travelers described the area as bare and desolate.[15]

Both Ceres and Persephone were worshipped in Enna. Cicero said that the temple of Ceres was of such great antiquity and sanctity that Sicilians went there filled with religious awe. Verres looted from it a bronze image of the deity, the most ancient as well as the most venerated in Sicily.[16] No remains of this temple are now visible. Standing on the brink of the brink of the precipice, it fell with a great rockfall from the edge of the cliff.[17] Other remnants of classical antiquity were likely destroyed by the Saracens, who erected the castle and several other of the most prominent buildings of the modern city.[18]

Ancient name Henna

Coins minted for Enna under the Roman dominion still exist, carrying the legend "MUN. (Municipium) HENNA". The aspirated form of the name confirms the authority of Cicero, whose manuscripts give that form.[19] The most ancient Greek coin of the city also gives the name "ΗΕΝΝΑΙΟΝ".[20] Scholars have concluded that this form, Henna, of the ancient name is the more correct for its time, though Enna is the more usual.

University, culture and education

Enna is now an important center for archaeological and educational studies. The Kore University of Enna was officially founded in 2002.

Main sights

This section is written like a travel guide. Please help improve the section by introducing an encyclopedic style or move the content to Wikivoyage. (January 2022)
Interior of the Cathedral, towards the apse

The most important monuments of Enna are:

The Lombardy Castle.
The Church of Saint Francis of Assisi, in the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II

Pergusa lake and archaeologic site

The Holy Week procession of the Confraternities in Enna.

Lake Pergusa (Latin: Pergus lacus or Hennaeus lacus) lies between a group of mountains in the chain of Erei, about 5 km from Enna. It is part of an important migratory flyway for many species of birds. The Pergusa nature reserve also has numerous species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians and invertebrates.

Around the lake is the most important racing track of Southern Italy, the Autodromo di Pergusa. It has hosted international competitions and events, such as Formula One, Formula 3000, and a Ferrari Festival featuring Michael Schumacher.

Near Pergusa lake is the archaeological site known as Cozzo Matrice. These are the remains of an ancient prehistoric fortified village, with walls dating about 8000 BC. Other remains, dating to more than 2000 years ago, are a sacred citadel, a rich necropolis, and the remains of an ancient temple dedicated to Demeter. Pergusa is strongly linked to the myth of the Greek Persephone, Demeter's daughter, who was kidnapped from here by Pluto and taken to Hades, the underworld, for part of the year. From that captivity, seasons arose.

The important forest and green area named Selva Pergusina (meaning Pergusa's Wood) surrounds a part of the Lake Pergusa Valley.


The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Csa" (Mediterranean Climate).[21]

Climate data for Enna (1991–2020, extremes 1946–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.4
Mean daily maximum °C (°F) 8.4
Daily mean °C (°F) 5.6
Mean daily minimum °C (°F) 3.5
Record low °C (°F) −5.8
Average precipitation mm (inches) 82.4
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 8.4 8.2 7.7 6.4 3.6 2.4 1.3 2.8 5.0 6.2 7.3 8.2 67.3
Average relative humidity (%) 78.4 76.2 70.9 68.6 61.8 56.3 55.9 58.1 69.0 73.9 79.0 81.5 69.1
Average dew point °C (°F) 2.5
Source 1: NOAA[22]
Source 2: Servizio Meteorologico (extremes)[23]


See also: List of mayors of Enna

Sister cities

Notable people


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ Luciano Canepari. "Enna". DiPI Online (in Italian). Retrieved 13 January 2021.
  4. ^ Spaeth, Barbette S. (1996). The Roman Goddess Ceres. U. of Texas Press. pp. 73–74, 78–79, 129. ISBN 0-292-77693-4.
  5. ^ a b Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Castrogiovanni" . Encyclopædia Britannica. Vol. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 484.
  6. ^ Paul Fregosi (1998) Jihad in the West: Muslim Conquests from the 7th to the 21st Centuries, pp. 132-133.
  7. ^ "I Normanni - Il Campanile Enna".
  8. ^ Stanton, Charles D. “LAURIA’S LAST GREAT CAMPAIGN (SUMMER 1299–SPRING 1300).” In Roger of Lauria (c.1250-1305): “Admiral of Admirals,” NED-New edition., 271–88. Boydell & Brewer, 2019. doi:10.2307/j.ctvd58tqg.23.
  9. ^ Grimaldi, L. M.E.; Salemi, G.; Grimaldi, G.; Rizzo, A.; Marziolo, R.; Lo Presti, C.; Maimone, D.; Savettieri, G. (2001). "High incidence and increasing prevalence of MS in Enna (Sicily), southern Italy". Neurology. 57 (10): 1891–1893. doi:10.1212/WNL.57.10.1891. PMID 11723283. S2CID 34895995.
  10. ^ Ovid, Met. v. 385-408; Claudian, de Rapt. Proserp. ii.; Diod. v. 3.
  11. ^ Met. v. 386.
  12. ^ l. c. ii. 112.
  13. ^ Cicero, In Verrem iv. 48.
  14. ^ v. 3.
  15. ^ Richard Hoare (1819) Classical Tour. London: J. Mawman, vol. ii, p. 252; Gustav Parthey (1834) Wanderungen durch Sicilien und die Levante. Berlin: Nicolaische Buchhandlung, Tl. 1, p. 135; Marquis of Ormonde (1850) Autumn in Sicily. Dublin: Hodges and Smith, p. 106, who has given a view of the lake.
  16. ^ Cicero In Verrem iv. 4. 8.
  17. ^ Fazello, Tommaso x. 2. p. 444; M. of Ormonde, p. 92.
  18. ^ Hoare, l. c. p. 249.
  19. ^ Zumpt, ad Verr. p. 392.
  20. ^ Eckhel, vol. i. p. 206.
  21. ^ Climate Summary for Enna, Italy
  22. ^ "World Meteorological Organization Climate Normals for 1991-2020 — Enna". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved February 4, 2024.
  23. ^ "Enna: Record mensili dal 1946" (in Italian). Servizio Meteorologico dell’Aeronautica Militare. Retrieved February 23, 2016.