The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The church stands with its austere size on the hill in the historic centre of Caltagirone.
To reach it from below you need to take the 142 maiolica steps of the monumental staircase of the same name, built in 1606 to unite the Church with the Town Hall.
The view from below of the long and majestic staircase, where there are small side openings similar to theatre flats, reveals the church elevation, which can be seen from the final steps, opening onto the square. The building’s foundation dates back to the 12th century and like most ecclesiastical buildings in the Val di Noto, it suffered from damage caused by the earthquake of 1693.
The long reconstruction was distinguished by some projects.
In 1739 the church was already well under way but, a few years after its completion, the bell tower collapsed, damaging other parts of the building.
chiesa santa Maria del Monte facciata frontalezoom sul portaleThis was when the architect Francesco Battaglia from Catania intervened and designed the new project.
The façade, entirely made of carved stone, is austere and sober, divided into two superimposed levels, with no dynamic ornaments apart from the two volutes and curved top that soften its severe lines.
In the more articulated central part, there is a portal with a large Venetian window above, with two small free-standing columns and the two side entrances framed by an elegant curved design and embellished by an oval opening.

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The two churches

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

One city, three sites

Reconstruction after the earthquake

Geometry and wonder in civic architecture in the Baroque of the Val di Noto

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The Palazzo dei due mori

Art in the cathedral

St. Agatha and the candelore

The works in the church

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

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The eagle-shaped city

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

The senses tell the story of the Sanctuary Church of Santa Maria della Stella

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The Church of St. Paul

The Benedictines’ library

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The interior of the church: space and colour

The city palace

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The art of maiolica

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

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

The new roads of the city

City and nature

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The interior and works of art

The Church of St. Francis

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The city within the city

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The church and the monastery

The palace, the town, the church

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Verticality and dynamism of the façade of the Church of San Carlo

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

Altars, saints and sculptural works

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

Barresi-Branciforte: the lords of the fiefdom and the modernisation of the town

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

A casket of precious works

The Church of St. Benedict

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and the Church of San Nicolò l’Arena

The Duomo di San Giorgio (Cathedral of St. George)

The Badia di Sant’Agata (St. Agatha’s Abbey)

The articulated interior spaces

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Carlo and the former Jesuit college

Views denied, views conquered: the power of the devout Benedictines

The church of San Nicolò l’Arena: the majesty of an unfinished beauty

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Luminous sacred spaces

The Staircase of Angels

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

The freedom of worship and the Catholic Church’s role in the diffusion of Baroque

A heritage of votive works

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

A stone garden

The Franciscan convent

The Church of Madonna della Stella

Religious architecture

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The church and the college

The neo-Gothic seminary chapel: symbols, light and space

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

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

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The expansion of space and changing reality

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The casket of austerity under the great dome

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

Piazza Duomo, the elephant fountain, the heart of the city

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

A story of rebirth

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