Militello in Val di Catania

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The town of Militello in Val di Catania, once called Militello in Val di Noto, is one of the centres rebuilt on a new site following the great earthquake of 1693.
Located in the northern part of the Hyblaean Mountains, it was rebuilt in a grid layout further upstream but still nearby the former site.foto militello droneThe name Militellus, or Militum Tellus, land of soldiers, is said to be of Roman origin like the town, though no proof of this has yet been found. Another fascinating theory links the name’s origin to the honey-coloured local stone, from which “Mellis Tellus”, or land of honey, would derive.
The first settlement is thought to date back to the Byzantine era near the valley of the river Lèmbasi, south of the current town. This is shown by the transformation of the necropolises into homes and places of Christian worship.
Militello was also a fortified centre and remained a fiefdom until the 18th century, following the rule of the Barresi and Branciforte lords. The town reached maximum expansion in the 17th century, before the great earthquake of 1693. In fact, the enlightened Prince Francesco Branciforte designed a new road layout and came up with a possible way to expand the town without completely changing site.
The two main churches, Santa Maria della Stella (St. Mary of the Star) and San Nicolò (St. Nicholas), were rebuilt in the upper part of the town in late Baroque style, following the destruction of the earthquake.

From International Gothic to present day

An eagle-shaped city

A majestic and luminous church

Feast days

The two churches

The interior and its masterpieces

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Some masterpieces

The church of Carmine

A miniature city

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The theatre of taste

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

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

A new site for a new city

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

A talking palace

Prominent façade

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

A long reconstruction

Some prestigious works

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

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

Wonderful quick decorations

A colourful floor

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A prominent church

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

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

Discovering the mother church

A small room with a golden entrance

Norman apses

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The city of museums

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

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

The Baroque town by the sea

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

A hall for the feasts

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

One city, three sites

A half-Baroque church

Searching for colour

Two illustrious patron saints

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

One city, two sites

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

A square as the heart of the city

The internal colours

New roads for Catania

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Many owners, one palace

A triumph of colour

The disastrous earthquake

The chocolate of Modica

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

Limestone, the colour of harmony

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

Connections with other UNESCO sites

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Between white and black

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The Staircase of Angels

A symbol for the town

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

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

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The colours of the cathedral

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

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

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

A feast only for Scicli

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The wall comes to life

Feasting in Palazzolo

The Burgos crucifix

A new site for a new church

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A museum to save a tradition

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The Maiolica of the staircase

A city in colour