A feast only for Scicli

Madonna a Cavallo, Chiesa MadreOn the last Saturday of May the Madonna a Cavallo (Madonna on Horseback) is celebrated in Scicli. This very important feast celebrates the liberation of Christians from Arab rule.
In 1091 Roger I of Sicily and his army freed Scicli from the Saracens, but they didn’t do it all by themselves… The Madonna on horseback came to their aid. Also known as the Madonna delle Milizie (Madonna of the Militia), she miraculously appeared and took part in the final battle. This incredible event could not be forgotten, so it is still celebrated every year.
In her honour, the town is decorated with lights and all the citizens participate in long processions; it is the only feast in the world where a warrior virgin is celebrated.
A play is also put on that tells the story of the battle and the miraculous appearance. To mark this day for remembering the Virgin’s miraculous intervention, typical desserts are prepared called Teste di Turco (“Testi Turcu” in dialect), meaning Turkish Heads. These desserts are an ideological trophy. In fact, their shape is reminiscent of the turbans that covered the heads of the defeated invaders. Despite their inspiration, they are delicious pastry puffs filled with ricotta cheese or custard.

The disastrous earthquake

A small room with a golden entrance

A new site for a new church

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giuliano ai Crociferi

Prominent façade

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

A feast only for Scicli

A colourful floor

The interior and its masterpieces

A triumph of colour

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The senses tell the Mother Church of San Nicolò and of the Santissimo Salvatore

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

From the contrast of the exterior to the internal jubilation of colours

New roads for Catania

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and San NicoIò l’Arena

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Searching for colour

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

A talking palace

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A long reconstruction

The Burgos crucifix

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Maiolica of the staircase

Some prestigious works

The senses tell the story of the church of Santa Maria del Carmelo

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The façade used as a puppet theatre

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

A miniature city

A city in colour

A square as the heart of the city

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The theatre of taste

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The senses tell the story of the staircase of Santa Maria del Monte

Many owners, one palace

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Some masterpieces

A new site for a new city

A half-Baroque church

The two churches

The chocolate of Modica

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The colours of the cathedral

Church of San Giuliano (St. Julian) on Via dei Crociferi: reconstruction

The role of the religious orders in rebuilding the Val di Noto

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Two illustrious patron saints

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giovanni Battista

The Staircase of Angels

The senses tell the story of the Badia di Sant’Agata

Wonderful quick decorations

The internal colours

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Norman apses

A hall for the feasts

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Baroque town by the sea

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The church of Carmine

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

From International Gothic to present day

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista

The wall comes to life

Discovering the mother church

A majestic and luminous church

A museum to save a tradition

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

One city, three sites

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

One city, two sites

Freedom of worship and the role of the Catholic Church in the diffusion of Baroque

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Feast days

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A symbol for the town

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

The city of museums

A prominent church

Feasting in Palazzolo

Between white and black

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

An eagle-shaped city

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph