The Baroque town by the sea

Scicli is one of the towns of the ancient County of Modica and is divided into three areas of interest, as described by the great Syracusan writer Elio Vittorini .
The town’s historical centre, included on the World Heritage List in 2002, is situated on the San Matteo hill and characterised by narrow, irregular streets that trace the medieval urban fabric.
The outermost areas near the “quarries” of San Bartolomeo and Santa Maria la Nova are also inhabited.
These important sites prove the presence of settlements since the Copper Age. The new township, a result of the earthquake of 1693, then extends along the Hyblaean plateau towards the sea.
In the mid-17th century Scicli had 11000 inhabitants and around forty churches, but the earthquake destroyed everything.
The most important church, San Matteo (St. Matthew), collapsed and many monasteries and convents suffered the same tragic fate.
Only a few buildings remained standing. What could be done? It was time to act. In this case they chose not to abandon Scicli, but to rebuild it. The town was extended around the oldest area. New civic and religious buildings were built such as the Palazzo Beneventano and the church of San Giovanni Evangelista (St. John the Evangelist).
White limestone was used for the new buildings. A typical material of the area, it was easy to work and sculpt, and bestowed the landscape with a bright and brilliant appearance.
foto della città

A small room with a golden entrance

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The disastrous earthquake

The colours of the cathedral

Two illustrious patron saints

The Maiolica of the staircase

The church of Carmine

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The interior and its masterpieces

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

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

The façade used as a puppet theatre

A symbol for the town

A square as the heart of the city

A long reconstruction

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

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

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The Staircase of Angels

The theatre of taste

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A talking palace

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

Some masterpieces

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

New roads for Catania

Prominent façade

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

The two churches

The city of museums

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

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A feast only for Scicli

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

Feasting in Palazzolo

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Between white and black

One city, three sites

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

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

A triumph of colour

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Discovering the mother church

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

A miniature city

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

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

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Burgos crucifix

Many owners, one palace

A museum to save a tradition

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

A half-Baroque church

A colourful floor

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

An eagle-shaped city

From International Gothic to present day

A prominent church

A majestic and luminous church

The chocolate of Modica

The internal colours

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

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Wonderful quick decorations

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The Baroque town by the sea

Norman apses

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

Feast days

One city, two sites

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A Nobel Prize in Modica

A new site for a new city

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

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

A new site for a new church

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

A city in colour

Searching for colour

A hall for the feasts

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Some prestigious works

The wall comes to life