From our hotel (Le Querce di Cota) we drove to up to the ancient hilltop town of Troina. Set at over 1100m above sea level, and offering stunning views, Troina was once the Norman capital city of Sicily. To the west is the imposing sight of Mount Etna, to the north are the Nebrodi Mountains and to the south are the fertile plains of Catania.
Principle sights of Troina include the Chiesa Madre from the XI century in typical norman style, the oratory of the Most Holy Sacrament, where Pope Urbano II celebrated the holy mass in 1088 and the Church of the Madonna del Carmine.
From Troina we travelled north into the Nebrodi National Park to visit Lake Ancipa (Sartori). Sicily’s most extensive forests are to be found in this national park. There is also an abundance of wildlife, including wild cats, porcupines, hares, foxes, weasels, snakes, lizards and birds of prey.
In the afternoon we visited the castle of Sperlinga. Built on the top of a large rocky outcrop, this impregnable castle dominates the small picturesque town from which it takes its name and provides great views over the surrounding countryside.
From here we continued on to the neighbouring town Nicosia which, with its many noble palaces, was nicknamed the town of the 24 barons. A stroll around the old town led to the 18th century townhall and the Cathedral of St Nicholas with its famous painted wooden ceiling.
Settling down to dinner at our overnight accommodation, we reflected on the fascinating day that had been. The region of Enna is quite unlike the more familiar and busier coastal parts of Sicily and really is place worth spending a few days exploring!