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Caltagirone

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(Calata Hieronis; Calatayeronensis).

Caltagirone is a city in the province of Catania, Sicily, built on two eminences about 2000 feet above sea-level, connected by a bridge. It is supposed by some to be the ancient Hybla Minor , by others the ancient Gela . In the Middle Ages it became a Saracen stronghold. The first two syllables of its name are of Arabic origin ( kalaat , castle). The Genoese tried unsuccessfully to expel the Arabs from Caltagirone, which later, however, with the rest of Sicily fell into the hands of the Normans. It belonged at one time to the Diocese of Syracuse, but when the latter was made the seat of a metropolitan, Caltagirone was erected into a suffragan see. The first bishop was Gaetano Maria Trigona, afterwards transferred to Palermo. The diocese contains a population of 115,500 with 25 parishes, 112 churches and chapels, 199 secular and 48 regular priests, 5 religious houses for men, and 5 for women.

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