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

Master engineer Giuseppe Vespa designed the project for the new roads of Catania. In collaboration with the administration, he chose Piazza Duomo as the central point.
The new square was wider than the old Platea Magna and was where the most important religious and secular buildings were built: the Cathedral of Sant'Agata was rebuilt on the remains of the ancient Norman cathedral; the Archbishop’s Palace, the Seminary Palace of the Clerics and the Senatorial Palace were also built here.
palazzo semìnatorio
In the centre of the square, the Fountain of the Elephant was built in 1736 by Giovanni Battista Vaccarini as a representative symbol of the city.
Fontana dell'elefante
It is located at the point where the main roads merge, similar to the Bernini model of the Elephant and Obelisk in Rome.
Over time, it was completed with subsequent additions that preserve the memory of different historical periods, also seen in its materials.
The Egyptian obelisk, just over three and a half metres tall, is placed on the elephant’s back and has a globe on top, at the top of which shines a cross with the initials of St. Agatha, the city’s patron saint.
Below the elephant is a pedestal with the statues of the two rivers .
The materials used are dark lava stone from Roman times and white limestone, which recall the colours of the architecture overlooking the square, defined by scenic backdrops.

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

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The new roads of the city

The city palace

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The palace, the town, the church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The church and the monastery

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The interior and works of art

The works in the church

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The articulated interior spaces

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

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

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

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

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

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

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

Religious architecture

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The eagle-shaped city

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

A unifying project for the city of Catania

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

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

The Church of St. Francis

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

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

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

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

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

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

St. Agatha and the candelore

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

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The casket of austerity under the great dome

A stone garden

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

City and nature

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

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The two churches

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

The art of maiolica

The city within the city

A casket of precious works

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

One city, three sites

The expansion of space and changing reality

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The Church of St. Benedict

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

The Benedictines’ library

The Franciscan convent

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Luminous sacred spaces

The Palazzo dei due mori

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Art in the cathedral

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

A heritage of votive works

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

The church and the college

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The Church of St. Paul

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

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

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

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

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

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

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

The Church of Madonna della Stella

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

The interior of the church: space and colour

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

The Staircase of Angels

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

A story of rebirth

Reconstruction after the earthquake