Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte( Staircase of Santa Maria del Monte )
Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte is a set of world-famous steps in Caltagirone, Sicily, Italy. It was built in 1606 in order to connect the ancient part of Caltagirone to the new city built in the upper part. The staircase, over 130 meters (430 ft) long, is flanked by balcony buildings and is today one of the identifying monuments of the city.
The city of Caltagirone is part of Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002.
In the middle of the XV century, the city of Caltagirone expanded through the slopes of the mountain. The expansion of the city, on different levels, made communication between the areas of the city difficult.
In order to facilitate access to the old town, located at the top, the city authorities ordered the construction, in 1606, of a staircase along the southern slope of the hill. The work required 10 years of work and was carried out under the direction of Giuseppe Giacalone. The original staircase had rest areas and a total of 150 steps.
In 1844, the staircase underwent modifications, among which the elimination of rest areas stands out, which results in a lower inclination.