Enna, 85km (52 miles) is the highest city in Sicily, lying about 900m (3,000ft) above a vast plain that once supplied the Greeks and Romans with wheat. This is not, however, Sicily’s most cheerful city, surrounded as it often is by mist and huddled beneath a dark fortress erected by Frederick of Swabia in the 14th century.
On a clear day the views are splendid, and the best places to enjoy them are the central square, Piazza Crispi, or better yes, the Torre Pisana, one of six towers rising above the fortress. On the plains below, wheat fields stretch for miles across the centre of the island. Amid them glimmers Lago di Pergusa, the lake where Hades is said to have abducted Persephone, daughter of Zeus and goddess of fertility, and carried her off; the wheat died in Persephone’s absence, but the earth bloomed anew when Hades released her. Today the lake is surrounded by a hectic motor race track and fast food outlets.