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

Odours from the kitchens

foto della macchina della cappaTry to imagine the smells coming from the basement kitchens that rose to the upper floors and the spaces connected to the two refectories.
One of these spaces used to prepare rich dishes is home to the prodigious 18th-century fireplace hood named “il fornetto” (the little oven), built atop the ancient lava flow of 1669.
The kitchen was one of the most important rooms for monastery life, a sort of factory that fed a large number of monks, like a small world of its own inside the colossal monastery.

Lava and marble

One of the most characteristic features of the Benedictine monastery is undoubtedly the strong two-tone effect given by its main materials.
If we tried to touch a marble column and a lava stone base, we would immediately notice how they are different to the touch: the cold sensation, the porosity and the polishing.

Songs and music

The life of the Benedictine monks was marked by the strict rule of Ora et Labora (Prayer and Work), which meant dividing the day between prayer, work and study.
The entire monastery, but especially the courtyards and the church with the large organ, would have been pervaded by the singing of the monks.

The red room in the Monastery’s cellars

The red room is a charming circular room located in the cellars of the Benedictine monastery which today houses the Museo della Fabbrica (Museum of Construction).
As you enter this room, the last one along the museum route, you find yourself beneath a unique red iron construction.
The magnificent structure, designed by surveyor Antonino Leonardi, is a self-supporting attic characterised by an original and contemporary shape.

The room of conviviality: the large refectory

The large refectory now houses the University auditorium, but was once where the monks ate their meals.
The Rule of St. Benedict also dictated some rules in this case.
For example, meals were always to be eaten at the appointed time and in silence, though many drawings and writings of the time document that the monks’ dining was rather lavish.

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

One city, three sites

A unifying project for the city of Catania

Art in the cathedral

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

The two churches

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

Luminous sacred spaces

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

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

The art of maiolica

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

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

The Church of St. Francis

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

Religious architecture

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The expansion of space and changing reality

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

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

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The new roads of the city

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

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

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

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

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The Church of St. Benedict

The Church of St. Paul

The city within the city

The Palazzo dei due mori

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

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

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

City and nature

The palace, the town, the church

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

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

The interior and works of art

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

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

A story of rebirth

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

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

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The Staircase of Angels

Reconstruction after the earthquake

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

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

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The interior of the church: space and colour

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

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The works in the church

The Benedictines’ library

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

A stone garden

St. Agatha and the candelore

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

A heritage of votive works

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

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The city palace

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

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

The church and the college

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The casket of austerity under the great dome

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The Franciscan convent

The church and the monastery

The articulated interior spaces

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The Church of Madonna della Stella

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The eagle-shaped city

A casket of precious works