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.

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A long reconstruction

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The interior and its masterpieces

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A feast only for Scicli

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

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

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Searching for colour

New roads for Catania

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

One city, two sites

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

A majestic and luminous church

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

The internal colours

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

An eagle-shaped city

The Baroque town by the sea

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The chocolate of Modica

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

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

A miniature city

Two illustrious patron saints

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

Wonderful quick decorations

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

The two churches

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A colourful floor

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

A symbol for the town

The Burgos crucifix

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

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Prominent façade

The colours of the cathedral

A hall for the feasts

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

Between white and black

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Norman apses

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

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

One city, three sites

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

A new site for a new city

A city in colour

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The façade used as a puppet theatre

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Some masterpieces

The theatre of taste

The wall comes to life

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Some prestigious works

Feasting in Palazzolo

A new site for a new church

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

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

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The church of Carmine

The Staircase of Angels

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

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The disastrous earthquake

Feast days

A prominent church

Many owners, one palace

A triumph of colour

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The Maiolica of the staircase

A half-Baroque church

From International Gothic to present day

A square as the heart of the city

Discovering the mother church

The city of museums

A museum to save a tradition

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A talking palace

A small room with a golden entrance