Caltagirone

The Maiolica of the staircase

foto dal basso verso alto scalinata
In 1956, the staircase was enriched and embellished with a colourful maiolica covering. The idea was to celebrate the thousand-year-old tradition of Sicilian maiolica makers. For this reason, Professor Antonino Ragona, head of the project, chose to reproduce maiolica designs from the 10th-20th century.
The steps were covered from top to bottom. The maiolica tiles were inserted in chronological order, from the earliest century to present day. The first two steps commemorate Antonio Ragona and those who created the decorations (Gesualdo Aqueci, Francesco Ludice and Nicola Porcelli). The other 140 steps are divided into ten sections, one for each century starting from the 10th century. So as you climb the stairs, you are retracing the history of Caltagirone pottery from the antiquity until today.
foto Particolare targa primi due gradini foto Particolare targa primi due gradini
The maiolica tiles are a triumph of yellow, turquoise and green. One after another, geometrical decorations, human and floral figures alternate and portray the characteristic maiolica styles of Arabic, Norman, Suevian, Angevin-Aragonese, Chiaramontano, Spanish, Renaissance, Baroque, 18th century, 19th century and contemporary production.
foto Dettagli maioliche diverse

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

Between white and black

A symbol for the town

The internal colours

The Baroque town by the sea

A hall for the feasts

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

A small room with a golden entrance

From International Gothic to present day

Wonderful quick decorations

Connections with other UNESCO sites

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The Burgos crucifix

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The wall comes to life

One city, three sites

A triumph of colour

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

Two illustrious patron saints

New roads for Catania

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The church of Carmine

One city, two sites

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

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

A half-Baroque church

Discovering the mother church

A prominent church

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

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

An eagle-shaped city

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A square as the heart of the city

The interior and its masterpieces

The colours of the cathedral

A new site for a new city

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The theatre of taste

A majestic and luminous church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

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

The two churches

Feast days

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

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

Searching for colour

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

A city in colour

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

Some prestigious works

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A miniature city

The Staircase of Angels

The disastrous earthquake

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

Prominent façade

Norman apses

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

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

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

Some masterpieces

A new site for a new church

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A colourful floor

A museum to save a tradition

The chocolate of Modica

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

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

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A feast only for Scicli

A talking palace

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

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

The city of museums

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

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

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

Many owners, one palace

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

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The Maiolica of the staircase

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Feasting in Palazzolo

A long reconstruction

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata