Militello in Val di Catania

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

The town of Militello in Val di Catania reached the height of its growth in the 17th century, and is one of the centres rebuilt on new sites following the great earthquake of 1693.
In fact, in these years the enlightened Prince Francesco Branciforte designed the new urban layout, already thinking about a possible expansion of the town. Located in the northern extremity of the Hyblaean Mountains, it was rebuilt further upstream, not far from the former site, according to a grid layout.
Militello drone
piazza Vittorio Emanuele inquadrando chiesa san NicolòThe name Militellus, or Militum Tellus, land of soldiers, is said to come from the city’s Roman origins, though nothing has been proven yet. The first urban centre dates back to the Byzantine era, near the valley of the river Lèmbasi, to the south of the current township. This is evidenced by the transformation of the necropolises into homes and places of Christian worship. The main characteristic of Militello is, however, its strong connotation of a fortified centre. As a matter of fact, it remained a fiefdom until the end of the 18th century following the rule of the Barresi and Branciforte lords. The two main churches, those of Santa Maria della Stella (St. Mary of the Star) and San Nicolò (St. Nicholas), were razed to the ground by the earthquake and were rebuilt, in the upper part of the town, in the Baroque style of the Val di Noto.

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

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

The two churches

The city palace

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

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

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The works in the church

A stone garden

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

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

A casket of precious works

Art in the cathedral

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

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

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

The Staircase of Angels

A story of rebirth

The Church of St. Benedict

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The city within the city

The Palazzo dei due mori

The palace, the town, the church

One city, three sites

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

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

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

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

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

The eagle-shaped city

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

St. Agatha and the candelore

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

Luminous sacred spaces

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

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

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

Religious architecture

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

The casket of austerity under the great dome

The interior of the church: space and colour

The church and the college

The church and the monastery

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

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

The articulated interior spaces

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The Church of Madonna della Stella

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The Church of St. Paul

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The Church of St. Francis

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

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

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

Altars, saints and sculptural works

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

A heritage of votive works

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

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

The art of maiolica

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

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The interior and works of art

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

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

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

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

The Benedictines’ library

The new roads of the city

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

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

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

City and nature

The expansion of space and changing reality

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The Franciscan convent

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

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

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro