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.

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A talking palace

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

A new site for a new city

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

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

The Burgos crucifix

One city, two sites

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

Norman apses

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

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

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A half-Baroque church

A symbol for the town

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

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

A majestic and luminous church

A triumph of colour

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

St. Sebastian, so much work!

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

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

The colours of the cathedral

The Maiolica of the staircase

Between white and black

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Many owners, one palace

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

A prominent church

The city of museums

Feasting in Palazzolo

A hall for the feasts

A square as the heart of the city

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

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

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

A museum to save a tradition

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The façade used as a puppet theatre

Some prestigious works

Some masterpieces

Two illustrious patron saints

A long reconstruction

The internal colours

Feast days

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The chocolate of Modica

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

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A new site for a new church

A colourful floor

From International Gothic to present day

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The church of Carmine

The theatre of taste

One city, three sites

Discovering the mother church

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

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

An eagle-shaped city

A feast only for Scicli

Prominent façade

A city in colour

A small room with a golden entrance

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

The disastrous earthquake

The Baroque town by the sea

A miniature city

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

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

Wonderful quick decorations

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

Connections with other UNESCO sites

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The two churches

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The Staircase of Angels

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The wall comes to life

Searching for colour

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

New roads for Catania

The interior and its masterpieces