San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Located in Piazza Dante in the historic centre of Catania, the church of San Nicolò l’Arena is the spiritual heart of the monastery. It was built after Etna’s eruption in 1669, replacing an older building from the Renaissance period.
The façade is striking for the giant proportions of the eight columns, which, in pairs placed on large bases, flank the main and side portals.ta chiesa da piazza dante The large rectangular windows and the two oval openings above the portals light up the heavy, white marble structure. Work was started in 1774 by the architect Carmelo Battaglia Santangelo and left unfinished in 1802 by his cousin Antonino Battaglia. What is most surprising is the strong contrast between the incompleteness of the exterior and the large spaces of the interior.
foto cupola foto interno centrando l'altare
The church has a Latin cross plan, divided into three naves , separated by large arcades; crossing the main nave leads you to the main altar.
The walls have no particular decorations; as a matter of fact, they are white, but the interior shines thanks to light from the windows. The brightness is also created by the majestic dome designed by architect Stefano Ittar in 1780. Its large windows create plays of light that are reflected between the naves, altar and precious colourful marble floor.
69 foto dettaglio cupola foto parete navata con arcate e finestre
Inside, the church contains precious works of art , a valuable organ and a splendid sundial .
foto cappella foto organo foto meridiana su pavimento

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Norman apses

Searching for colour

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

A city in colour

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

Discovering the mother church

A majestic and luminous church

The theatre of taste

The Staircase of Angels

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

New roads for Catania

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

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

Some prestigious works

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

A square as the heart of the city

The wall comes to life

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The chocolate of Modica

The church of Carmine

A feast only for Scicli

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A prominent church

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

The disastrous earthquake

The façade used as a puppet theatre

One city, two sites

Wonderful quick decorations

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Prominent façade

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

A hall for the feasts

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

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

The two churches

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

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

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

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

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

A half-Baroque church

A long reconstruction

Between white and black

The Maiolica of the staircase

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

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The Burgos crucifix

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A talking palace

The Baroque town by the sea

The interior and its masterpieces

Feasting in Palazzolo

A triumph of colour

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A miniature city

Two illustrious patron saints

A new site for a new city

A Nobel Prize in Modica

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A museum to save a tradition

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The city of museums

A small room with a golden entrance

Some masterpieces

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

A colourful floor

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

The internal colours

From International Gothic to present day

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

One city, three sites

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

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

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

The colours of the cathedral

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

Feast days

Many owners, one palace

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A symbol for the town

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

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Limestone, the colour of harmony

A new site for a new church

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

An eagle-shaped city

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso