Militello in Val di Catania

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

During the feudal dominion of the Barresi-Branciforte family, the town of Militello in Val di Catania underwent remarkable restoration and reorganisation.
The enlightened prince Francesco Branciforte married Joanna of Austria, granddaughter of Charles V and cousin of the King of Spain, then launched an urbanisation plan to redesign the small town and adapt it to new cultural and political needs. The town’s transformations included one that involved the fortified castle, which was turned into a palace and equipped in 1612 with a well-stocked library , printing house and a sort of chemical laboratory. foto castello barresi branciforte
A public fountain was later built in the castle’s courtyard.
The square of the mother church was updated in 1617 alongside the two main streets in the centre of Militello, which were widened and straightened.
Connecting roads were also built outside the former perimeter walls, which encouraged the creation of new districts.
The powerful family also promoted patronage and funded the reconstruction of the bell tower of the Chiesa Madre di San Nicolò (Mother Church of St. Nicholas) and the extension of the Church of Santa Maria (St. Mary), which became the Barresi family’s burial place in the 16th century.

The Burgos crucifix

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A majestic and luminous church

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

Feast days

The Baroque town by the sea

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

One city, two sites

The Maiolica of the staircase

Some masterpieces

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

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

New roads for Catania

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

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The church of Carmine

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The interior and its masterpieces

Between white and black

Prominent façade

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The theatre of taste

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

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

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Some prestigious works

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Wonderful quick decorations

A prominent church

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

The internal colours

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

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

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

Searching for colour

The chocolate of Modica

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

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

The two churches

A long reconstruction

A small room with a golden entrance

Two illustrious patron saints

A square as the heart of the city

Norman apses

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

An eagle-shaped city

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Discovering the mother church

A museum to save a tradition

A new site for a new city

The disastrous earthquake

A new site for a new church

The wall comes to life

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A city in colour

A triumph of colour

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The colours of the cathedral

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A colourful floor

A miniature city

A talking palace

A half-Baroque church

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

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A hall for the feasts

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The city of museums

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Many owners, one palace

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

One city, three sites

The Staircase of Angels

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A feast only for Scicli

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

From International Gothic to present day

Feasting in Palazzolo

A symbol for the town

The character of Badia Sant’Agata