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

The colours of the cathedral

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The Maiolica of the staircase

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

A half-Baroque church

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

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The city of museums

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The chocolate of Modica

Wonderful quick decorations

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

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Many owners, one palace

An eagle-shaped city

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

A triumph of colour

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

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

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

A square as the heart of the city

The Burgos crucifix

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

The wall comes to life

A talking palace

Between white and black

A hall for the feasts

One city, two sites

Two illustrious patron saints

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

Norman apses

The theatre of taste

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

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

The church of Carmine

The Staircase of Angels

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A prominent church

A new site for a new city

Searching for colour

A city in colour

Modica, a city with ancient origins

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Feasting in Palazzolo

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

A feast only for Scicli

A new site for a new church

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

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

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The internal colours

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

A long reconstruction

The two churches

The interior and its masterpieces

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

Discovering the mother church

One city, three sites

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A symbol for the town

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

Some prestigious works

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

A miniature city

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The disastrous earthquake

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

A majestic and luminous church

A small room with a golden entrance

A museum to save a tradition

Feast days

St. Sebastian, so much work!

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

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

A colourful floor

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The Baroque town by the sea

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

From International Gothic to present day

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Prominent façade

Some masterpieces

New roads for Catania

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church