Historical background

Located in the Sicilian hinterland, at 568 m asl, it was inhabited for the first time by the Sicani, who settled in several villages since the nineteenth century BC.
The present city was probably founded in the tenth century during the rule of the Arabs in Sicily, to whom we owe the origin of the name “Caltanissetta”. According to some, it derives from Nisa or Nissa, name from which, with the addition of the Arabic Qal at «castle», would have derived the name we known now.

Transformed into a feud by the Normans, after various vicissitudes passed in 1405 under the rule of the Moncada di Paternò, who were the holders of the County of Caltanissetta until 1812; of the noble family today remains the seventeenth-century Palazzo Moncada in Baroque style.
Until the period of the Bourbon domination the regional territory was divided into three valleys: the Mazara Valley, the Demon Valley and the Noto Valley, the three macro areas, whose boundary was defined in a north-south direction by the line of the two rivers, Northern Imera and Southern Imera.

The division into provinces

The province was formed around 1818, when the region was officially divided into provinces. Caltanissetta at the time comprised about 40% of the province ennese and 10% of that ragusana. Founded as a sulfur deposit in the hands of noble families who ceded the concession for exploitation to foreign companies, over time suffered several tragedies, collapses and fires that caused serious human losses. In function of these mines, the province was affected by the railway construction of the northern railway company “Vittorio Emanuele” between 1876 and 1879.

It remains today one of the Sicilian provinces with greater dependence on agricultural activities. From the socio-economic point of view, the territory underwent a profound change when the mining activity was interrupted. We recall that in the early 1950s there were 150 mines in which 11,000 workers worked. Surely the reversal of the production system has triggered migration dynamics unfortunately directed outside the region, as well as micro-migration of the population (between the years 1980 and 1990) in the direction of the petrochemical complex of Gela. Tourism is mainly linked to cultural hiking.