A miniature city

foto portale ingressoThe Benedictine monastery of Catania, with its long history, is also known as “the city within the city”. Its large size and dozens of activities taking place inside make it seem like a small city, bordered by large walls and capable of interesting cultural exchange with the surrounding urban fabric.
Since the 1970s it has been the seat of the Faculty of Literature, Language and Philosophy of the University of Catania.
Today the monastery is accessed via the surrounding wall through a majestic portal that leads into the large courtyard surrounding the Abbey, passing the main staircase in Carrara marble with ninety-five steps.
It is a remarkable piece of architecture with a white staircase, walls decorated with gypsum bas-reliefs and stuccoes that accentuate the play on light and shadow, thus creating an elegant two-toned effect.
It leads to the corridors that bring us to the monks’ cells and the two cloisters.
The first cloister, to the east, is surrounded by a splendid portico in white Syracuse stone raised on a dark base and enhanced in the centre by the caffeaos (coffee house). The second cloister was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 and features a stark contrast between the dark plaster wall and the fifty-two white marble columns on the lower storey.
the centre, the majestic marble fountain offers a focal point for the space.foto scalone da pianerottolo volte piano superiore

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

Some prestigious works

Discovering the mother church

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A miniature city

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Norman apses

A museum to save a tradition

A new site for a new church

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The Baroque town by the sea

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

A triumph of colour

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

Some masterpieces

The Maiolica of the staircase

The two churches

Wonderful quick decorations

An eagle-shaped city

A small room with a golden entrance

A hall for the feasts

The theatre of taste

The façade used as a puppet theatre

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

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

The church of Carmine

The interior and its masterpieces

A city in colour

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

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

A prominent church

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

A square as the heart of the city

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

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The colours of the cathedral

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

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

Between white and black

A symbol for the town

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

New roads for Catania

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

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

A colourful floor

The wall comes to life

A majestic and luminous church

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The chocolate of Modica

A talking palace

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Prominent façade

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

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

A new site for a new city

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The internal colours

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

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Many owners, one palace

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A feast only for Scicli

Feasting in Palazzolo

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

A long reconstruction

Two illustrious patron saints

Searching for colour

One city, two sites

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Feast days

From International Gothic to present day

A half-Baroque church

The Burgos crucifix

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The city of museums

The disastrous earthquake

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

One city, three sites

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

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The Staircase of Angels