Catania

The city within the city

The Benedictine monastery of Catania, with its long stratigraphic history, is also known as “the city within the city”.
Its large size and the events that have taken place within it over the centuries elevate it to the status of a small city, bordered by large walls, which has always interacted with the surrounding fabric in a relationship of cultural exchange. In the 1970s, it became the seat of the Faculty of Literature, Language and Philosophy of the University of Catania. What does the monastery look like today?
cortileToday it is accessed from the surrounding wall through a majestic portal that leads to the large courtyard surrounding the Abbey, passing the main staircase with its ninety-five steps in Carrara marble.
A remarkable work of architecture, a white scenic staircase punctuated by sinuous balustrades, with the surrounding walls totally frescoed and stuccoed, which, however, maintain an austere aura thanks to the elegant two-toned effect. This neoclassical vestibule leads to the corridors and the monks’ cells. The corridors also lead to the two cloisters.
The first cloister, in the east, is surrounded by a splendid portico in white Syracuse stone raised on a dark base and embellished in the centre by the Caffeaos .
The second cloister was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693, and is characterised by a strong two-tone colour scheme: there are just over 50 white marble columns and arcades located on the lower floor, and large windows decorated with white frames emerge from the dark plaster wall. In the centre, the majestic marble quatrefoil fountain provides a focal point for the space.
scalone da pianerottolo volte piano superiore

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

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

Reconstruction after the earthquake

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

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

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

A stone garden

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

Religious architecture

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

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The city within the city

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

Altars, saints and sculptural works

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

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The Church of St. Francis

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

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

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

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The works in the church

The Franciscan convent

The Palazzo dei due mori

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

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

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The interior of the church: space and colour

Luminous sacred spaces

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

City and nature

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

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

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The Benedictines’ library

The Church of St. Benedict

One city, three sites

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

A casket of precious works

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The palace, the town, the church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The two churches

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

Art in the cathedral

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

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

The art of maiolica

The Church of St. Paul

The church and the college

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

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

The eagle-shaped city

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The church and the monastery

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

A story of rebirth

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

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

The city palace

The Church of Madonna della Stella

The new roads of the city

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

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

A heritage of votive works

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

St. Agatha and the candelore

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The expansion of space and changing reality

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The Staircase of Angels

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

The articulated interior spaces

The casket of austerity under the great dome

The interior and works of art

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

A Nobel Prize in Modica