Caltagirone

A symbol for the town

The Scalinata di Santa Maria del Monte (Staircase of St. Mary of the Mountain), is not simply a stairway, but one of the symbols of the town of Caltagirone.

The Scala di Santa Maria del Monte
The Scala di Santa Maria del Monte is one of the symbols of the city of Caltagirone. The staircase, also called Scala di San Giacomo, passes between two dense rows of houses. It is 130 meters long, has 142 steps and connects the lower town to the mother church. In 1954 it was decided to enrich and embellish the elevation of the steps with a coating in colored majolica. They chose to reproduce the drawings of the majolica from the tenth to the twentieth century and covered the steps from bottom to top and inserted the majolica in a chronological sense. The first two steps have the staircase, there is a plaque commemorating Antonio Ragona, the one who started the project, and another is dedicated to those who executed the decorations. The other 140 steps are ideally divided into ten parts, each for each century in matches from the X.

The Staircase of St. Mary of the Mountain, also known as the Staircase of St. James, passes between two tightly packed housing terraces. It is 130 metres long, formed of 142 steps and connects the lower town to the mother church. foto Scalinata dall’alto verso il bassoThe staircase was built in 1606 to create a direct connection between the church of St. Mary of the Mountain and the lower town where the Senatorial Palace, the captain’s court and the church of San Giuliano (St. Julian) were located.
At first a road was considered, but because of the steep slope a staircase was built instead. The works were managed by the master of Palermo Giuseppe Giacalone , who employed local workers.
In the 19th century interventions were carried out to make the staircase more accessible.
The various ramps that made up the staircase were joined together by the architect Salvatore Marino. In 1956, colourful maiolica tiles were added to decorate the 142 steps.foto Dettagli maioliche diverse Every year at certain times of the year, the staircase features prominently in town life.
In May you can admire the Infiorata (flower festival) in celebration of the Madonna dei Conadomini, when a design with thousands of flowers is created. Between the 24th and 25th of July the staircase is illuminated with “” coppi ” (tea lights) for the Feast of San Giacomo (St. James), the patron saint of the town. It is also lit up between the 14th and 15th of August in honour of the Madonna del Ponte.

A hall for the feasts

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The Baroque town by the sea

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The chocolate of Modica

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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

The façade used as a puppet theatre

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

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

Some masterpieces

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

Feast days

A museum to save a tradition

The wall comes to life

A small room with a golden entrance

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Many owners, one palace

Norman apses

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The Burgos crucifix

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

Between white and black

The disastrous earthquake

Prominent façade

An eagle-shaped city

A miniature city

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A new site for a new church

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A feast only for Scicli

A square as the heart of the city

The colours of the cathedral

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

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A symbol for the town

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

A city in colour

One city, two sites

The city of museums

New roads for Catania

Discovering the mother church

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Staircase of Angels

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The interior and its masterpieces

Two illustrious patron saints

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The church of Carmine

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

Searching for colour

Feasting in Palazzolo

The two churches

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

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

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

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The theatre of taste

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A new site for a new city

From International Gothic to present day

The internal colours

The Maiolica of the staircase

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

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

A majestic and luminous church

A half-Baroque church

Some prestigious works

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

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

A triumph of colour

Wonderful quick decorations

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

A talking palace

A long reconstruction

One city, three sites

A colourful floor

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

A prominent church