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.

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

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

A symbol for the town

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A triumph of colour

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Prominent façade

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A small room with a golden entrance

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

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Two illustrious patron saints

Between white and black

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Searching for colour

A museum to save a tradition

An eagle-shaped city

A hall for the feasts

A long reconstruction

Many owners, one palace

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The church of Carmine

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

From International Gothic to present day

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A new site for a new church

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A half-Baroque church

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

The chocolate of Modica

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

The Staircase of Angels

Some masterpieces

A new site for a new city

A talking palace

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The colours of the cathedral

The interior and its masterpieces

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

One city, two sites

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Feasting in Palazzolo

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A Nobel Prize in Modica

Norman apses

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The wall comes to life

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The theatre of taste

The internal colours

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

A majestic and luminous church

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Discovering the mother church

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The Maiolica of the staircase

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The disastrous earthquake

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The Burgos crucifix

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Wonderful quick decorations

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The two churches

Some prestigious works

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The city of museums

A square as the heart of the city

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

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

New roads for Catania

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

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A colourful floor

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

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

A feast only for Scicli

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

A prominent church

One city, three sites

A city in colour

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

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

Feast days

The Baroque town by the sea

A miniature city