Modica, a city with ancient origins

The city of Modica , sat in the middle of the Hyblaean plateau between deep quarries , fits perfectly into the hills of the Hyblaean countryside which is rich in vegetation and typical dry stone walls .Città panoramica ModicaThe inhabited centre is built across two districts, Modica alta (Upper Modica), in a high and rocky hilly area, and Modica bassa (Lower Modica), which is built around two streams.
Corso Umberto ICittà panoramica ModicaThe inhabited history of the Hyblaean city begins a long time ago. In fact, the first settlements date back to 1800-1400 BC.
The city we see today is the result of a transformation that took place after the earthquake of 1693. Unlike other towns in the Val di Noto, Modica was rebuilt on the same site. The city spaces were reorganised and reconstruction was supervised by the monastic orders and the rich and powerful agricultural nobility.
The earthquake destroyed what remained of the old medieval town and gave way to precious and noble residences in the valley floor, as well as imposing and majestic churches, veritable masterpieces of the reconstruction.
The landscape is characterised by the typical Modica stone with infinite shades from beige to white, and quartz veins that make it shine under the hot sun. Until the beginning of the 20th century Modica was crossed by small streams and a series of bridges that connected the various parts of the city. Back then it was decided to bury the streams and the old river became the current street, Corso Umberto, today overlooked by the town hall of Modica and the ancient Palazzo Manenti.

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The internal colours

Searching for colour

Discovering the mother church

A majestic and luminous church

One city, three sites

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

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

The theatre of taste

The Burgos crucifix

The two churches

Prominent façade

The Staircase of Angels

A triumph of colour

Feasting in Palazzolo

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

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

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The interior and its masterpieces

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

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

A long reconstruction

One city, two sites

The wall comes to life

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

Between white and black

The city of museums

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

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

New roads for Catania

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

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

The Maiolica of the staircase

Some masterpieces

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A half-Baroque church

Norman apses

Modica, a city with ancient origins

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Many owners, one palace

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

A museum to save a tradition

Wonderful quick decorations

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A city in colour

A talking palace

Some prestigious works

A new site for a new church

Feast days

A miniature city

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The church of Carmine

A colourful floor

A hall for the feasts

An eagle-shaped city

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

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

The Baroque town by the sea

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

A symbol for the town

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A new site for a new city

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

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

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

A prominent church

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

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

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The disastrous earthquake

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

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

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

The colours of the cathedral

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The chocolate of Modica

The façade used as a puppet theatre

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

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A small room with a golden entrance

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

A feast only for Scicli

A Nobel Prize in Modica

A square as the heart of the city

From International Gothic to present day

Two illustrious patron saints