Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The Madonna of the Militia or Madonna on Horseback is celebrated in Scicli on the last Saturday of May. Madonna a Cavallo, Chiesa MadreThis feast has strong meaning for the Scicli community’s identity; it is intangible heritage of the highest value, due also to its uniqueness.
In fact, on that day, the Christians’ liberation from the Arab rule is celebrated. King Roger I of Sicily and his army freed Scicli from the Saracens in 1091 in the clash that took place in the plain of Donnalucata, near the sea and a few kilometres from the town centre. The Madonna on Horseback came to their aid and miraculously appeared before participating in the final battle.
This exceptional event is still commemorated today with the Feast of the Madonna of the Militia.
In her honour, the town is decorated with lights and all the citizens participate in long processions; it is the only feast in the world where a warrior virgin is celebrated.
A play is also put on that tells the story of the battle and the miraculous appearance.
Testa di Turco dolce To mark this day, dedicated to remembering the Virgin’s miraculous intervention, typical evocative desserts are prepared called Teste di Turco (“Testi Turcu” in dialect), meaning Turkish Heads.
These desserts are an ideological trophy. In fact, their shape is reminiscent of the turbans that covered the heads of the defeated invaders.
Despite their inspiration, they are delicious pastry puffs filled with ricotta cheese or custard.

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The eagle-shaped city

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The neo-Gothic seminary chapel: symbols, light and space

A heritage of votive works

The Benedictines’ library

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

Religious architecture

The church and the monastery

A stone garden

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and the Church of San Nicolò l’Arena

The Duomo di San Giorgio (Cathedral of St. George)

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The works in the church

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

A story of rebirth

The freedom of worship and the Catholic Church’s role in the diffusion of Baroque

The Church of Madonna della Stella

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

The articulated interior spaces

The Palazzo dei due mori

A casket of precious works

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The art of maiolica

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Reconstruction after the earthquake

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The church and the college

Piazza Duomo, the elephant fountain, the heart of the city

One city, three sites

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

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

Views denied, views conquered: the power of the devout Benedictines

The city palace

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The Church of St. Francis

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

Geometry and wonder in civic architecture in the Baroque of the Val di Noto

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Carlo and the former Jesuit college

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The expansion of space and changing reality

Barresi-Branciforte: the lords of the fiefdom and the modernisation of the town

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Badia di Sant’Agata (St. Agatha’s Abbey)

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The church of San Nicolò l’Arena: the majesty of an unfinished beauty

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The two churches

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

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

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The palace, the town, the church

The interior and works of art

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The new roads of the city

The interior of the church: space and colour

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The Church of St. Benedict

Luminous sacred spaces

Art in the cathedral

The Staircase of Angels

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The Church of St. Paul

City and nature

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

A Nobel Prize in Modica

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The city within the city

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

St. Agatha and the candelore

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

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The casket of austerity under the great dome

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The Franciscan convent

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

Verticality and dynamism of the façade of the Church of San Carlo

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

The senses tell the story of the Sanctuary Church of Santa Maria della Stella