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.

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

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A talking palace

A new site for a new church

Norman apses

A half-Baroque church

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

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The Maiolica of the staircase

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The Burgos crucifix

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

One city, two sites

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A small room with a golden entrance

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

Discovering the mother church

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

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A square as the heart of the city

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

A new site for a new city

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

The interior and its masterpieces

Some masterpieces

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

Feasting in Palazzolo

A feast only for Scicli

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

A long reconstruction

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The colours of the cathedral

An eagle-shaped city

A triumph of colour

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

One city, three sites

Some prestigious works

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Wonderful quick decorations

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Many owners, one palace

The Baroque town by the sea

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

From International Gothic to present day

The Staircase of Angels

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

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

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

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

The theatre of taste

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

A city in colour

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

A symbol for the town

A museum to save a tradition

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

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

Two illustrious patron saints

Between white and black

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Prominent façade

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

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

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A prominent church

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The church of Carmine

A miniature city

A colourful floor

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Feast days

The wall comes to life

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The chocolate of Modica

The façade used as a puppet theatre

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

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The disastrous earthquake

New roads for Catania

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The two churches

A majestic and luminous church

A hall for the feasts

The internal colours

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

Searching for colour

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The city of museums