Catania

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The work of the Benedictines not only followed religious and charitable commitments, but scientific undertakings, too. The monastery’s first collection of books was probably created at its foundation and used exclusively by the monks. The monks also followed strict Benedictine rule through the study of literature and science.
They established relations with the city’s cultural institutions and acquired important collections over the centuries.
There were around 24,000 volumes of rare, ancient and modern manuscripts and parchments; the monks were great connoisseurs and disseminators of ancient knowledge. After the eruption of 1669 and the earthquake of 1693 the monastery suffered great losses but the monks managed to save part of the collection, which they kept until the library was rebuilt.
The construction of the library’s new main hall was entrusted to Vaccarini, who designed it with typical elements from late Baroque art.
In fact, the giant central plan hall, the “Sala Vaccarini” (Vaccarini Hall), is an important room covered almost completely by wooden bookshelves in order that nearly reach the decorated vault, placed between the round windows that illuminate the room.
In addition to the hall there were five other sumptuous rooms used for the Benedictine Museum and designed to closely match the library. Today the former museum rooms are home to the library’s reference and reading rooms.

The interior and its masterpieces

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

Discovering the mother church

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

The façade used as a puppet theatre

A feast only for Scicli

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A symbol for the town

A new site for a new city

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Norman apses

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

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Some masterpieces

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

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

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The two churches

The colours of the cathedral

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

Connections with other UNESCO sites

The wall comes to life

An eagle-shaped city

A triumph of colour

New roads for Catania

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The Staircase of Angels

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

Two illustrious patron saints

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

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

One city, two sites

Limestone, the colour of harmony

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

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

Feasting in Palazzolo

The Baroque town by the sea

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The Maiolica of the staircase

The internal colours

A new site for a new church

Some prestigious works

Prominent façade

A majestic and luminous church

A miniature city

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

A hall for the feasts

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A city in colour

A long reconstruction

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

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

The city of museums

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

Feast days

The disastrous earthquake

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A half-Baroque church

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The chocolate of Modica

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

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

A talking palace

Wonderful quick decorations

The church of Carmine

The theatre of taste

A small room with a golden entrance

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

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

Searching for colour

Many owners, one palace

One city, three sites

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

A prominent church

A colourful floor

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

From International Gothic to present day

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A square as the heart of the city

The Burgos crucifix

A museum to save a tradition

Between white and black

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