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.

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Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

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A heritage of votive works

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Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

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The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

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The art of maiolica

The Church of St. Paul

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

A stone garden

Luminous sacred spaces

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

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The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

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The Franciscan convent

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The city palace

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

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The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

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Reconstruction after the earthquake

Art in the cathedral

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

The two churches

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

City and nature

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

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The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The Church of St. Francis

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

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

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The Staircase of Angels

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble