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 cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A Nobel Prize in Modica

A prominent church

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

St. Sebastian, so much work!

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A city in colour

Some prestigious works

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

A museum to save a tradition

A feast only for Scicli

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The Burgos crucifix

A triumph of colour

A miniature city

The disastrous earthquake

Two illustrious patron saints

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

One city, three sites

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

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The Maiolica of the staircase

The theatre of taste

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

One city, two sites

A hall for the feasts

Prominent façade

New roads for Catania

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

A symbol for the town

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Some masterpieces

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

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

A majestic and luminous church

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Wonderful quick decorations

A colourful floor

Discovering the mother church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

The internal colours

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The wall comes to life

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A new site for a new city

The church of Carmine

A square as the heart of the city

The city of museums

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

A talking palace

From International Gothic to present day

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The two churches

Between white and black

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

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

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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

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

The Staircase of Angels

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

A long reconstruction

The colours of the cathedral

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

An eagle-shaped city

The interior and its masterpieces

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

The chocolate of Modica

A half-Baroque church

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

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

Feasting in Palazzolo

Norman apses

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A new site for a new church

Feast days

Limestone, the colour of harmony

A small room with a golden entrance

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

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

Many owners, one palace

Searching for colour

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The Baroque town by the sea

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