Militello in Val di Catania

A new site for a new church

The chiesa madre di San Nicolò e del Santissimo Salvatore (Mother Church of St. Nicholas and the Holy Saviour) is located on the corner of Via Umberto I and Via Matrice.
It is the result of a long and complex reconstruction following the earthquake of 1693.
Three years after the earthquake the Bishop of Syracuse, on a visit to Militello, ordered the construction of the new church and it was here that problems began. The citizens were divided between those who wanted to rebuild the church in the same place and those who wanted to rebuild it on a safer site; it took 28 years before a definitive location was found.
The foundation stone was laid on 6 December 1721 at the new site, where the present church is located today.
At this point, the reconstruction work was fairly quick: on 20 March 1740, when the church was blessed, the central and lateral naves were almost complete; around 1750, the façade designed by the architect Girolamo Palazzotto was finished; in 1765, the bell tower designed by the architect Francesco Battaglia , from Catania was added, which was joined by the bells and clock eleven years later.
The bell tower on the right was the only one built, thus breaking up the symmetry of the façade. The church was built with the help of many benefactors including the Marquis Nicolò Placido Branciforte and the Abbot Malacria.

The church of San Nicolò and the Most Holy Saviour
The church of San Nicolò and the Most Holy Saviour has an elevated entrance with respect to the road level and can be reached through two side staircases that have twenty-seven steps. The facade is divided horizontally into three levels: the first includes the large central portal, inserted between two pairs of columns and which is closed over by a broken arched tympanum; the two side doors, called “of the sun” and “of the moon”, are surmounted by a window; the second order has in the center a large window with a triangular tympanum on top; the third order, finally, closes the structure, has the shape of a broken arched tympanum and on the top there is a cross supported by a head of cherub. On the right side of the facade is the only bell tower, the left one was not built and the symmetry of the facade is broken.
Many owners, one palace

Between white and black

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The Baroque town by the sea

Some prestigious works

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

A hall for the feasts

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

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

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

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Two illustrious patron saints

A new site for a new city

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The two churches

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Some masterpieces

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

A half-Baroque church

The chocolate of Modica

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

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 majestic and luminous church

A prominent church

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The Burgos crucifix

Discovering the mother church

A long reconstruction

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

New roads for Catania

The Staircase of Angels

The colours of the cathedral

A triumph of colour

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

The Maiolica of the staircase

Modica, a city with ancient origins

One city, three sites

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

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

A colourful floor

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A museum to save a tradition

The disastrous earthquake

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The theatre of taste

The city of museums

Wonderful quick decorations

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

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A square as the heart of the city

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The wall comes to life

From International Gothic to present day

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

A new site for a new church

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

Feasting in Palazzolo

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

Prominent façade

Feast days

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

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

Searching for colour

A city in colour

A talking palace

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

An eagle-shaped city

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

The internal colours

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

One city, two sites

A small room with a golden entrance

A feast only for Scicli

The interior and its masterpieces

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A symbol for the town

A miniature city

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Norman apses

The church of Carmine

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