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 about Palazzo Zacco

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Art in the cathedral

A story of rebirth

The church and the college

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

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The palace, the town, the church

The eagle-shaped city

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

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

The Franciscan convent

St. Agatha and the candelore

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The casket of austerity under the great dome

One city, three sites

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The interior and works of art

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The Church of St. Paul

The Benedictines’ library

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

Luminous sacred spaces

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The articulated interior spaces

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

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

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

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

The works in the church

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The church and the monastery

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

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

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The expansion of space and changing reality

The Church of Madonna della Stella

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The art of maiolica

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Church of St. Benedict

The Palazzo dei due mori

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

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

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

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

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

A stone garden

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

A casket of precious works

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

The new roads of the city

Religious architecture

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

A unifying project for the city of Catania

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

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

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

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

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The two churches

Altars, saints and sculptural works

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

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

A heritage of votive works

The Staircase of Angels

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

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

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The city within the city

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

City and nature

The Church of St. Francis

The interior of the church: space and colour

The city palace

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

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

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