Ceramic Steps of Caltagirone – Caltagirone, Italy - Atlas Obscura

Ceramic Steps of Caltagirone

Caltagirone, Italy

142 ceramic steps become a mosaic once a year. 


Every tile of the 142-step staircase of Caltagirone is decorated with a unique and colorful design, making the steps impressive at any point during the year. However, for two and half weeks per year, the stairs become even more incredible as they are decorated with flowers and illuminated with candles to form a mural design up the entire set of steps.

Connecting the newer, lower-town with the old town above, the steps lead directly up to the church of Santa Maria del Monte. With a vast array of designs ranging from religious to natural, the steps become the focal point of the town during a few important holidays.

During the last two weeks of May for the Infiorita festival, the stairs are covered in flowers, forming a swirling design that swoops the entire way up to the church. Only two months later on the nights of July 24th and 25th, the stairs are once again bedecked, this time to honor the patron saint of the town, St. James. The flickering light playing off of the thousands of unique tiles gives a performance in the small town that rivals even the most spectacular religious monument across the entirety of Italy.

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December 8, 2011

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