Catania

The Staircase of Angels

The entrance to the wonderful church of San Benedetto (St. Benedict) is up the scala degli angeli (staircase of angels).
It was built to solve the problem of connecting the church to the street level, which is 7 metres lower. The staircase is one of the most characteristic examples of Sicilian Baroque. Its uniqueness, and name, is due to the sculptures of angels in marble stucco , a less valuable material than marble. It is no coincidence that this poor material was also used to highlight the church interior.
For the same reason it was left entirely white with a few golden decorations, so that the triumph of colour in the frescoes was even more evident and the contrast even greater.
Everything outside the church had to be made of less valuable materials. In fact, the main altar, the focus of the worshippers’ attention, was made of pure gold and silver.
Worshippers were to have no distractions; they would have had a clear idea of what the centre of their attention should have been: the altar, where religious service took place.

Discovering the mother church

Prominent façade

A talking palace

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The colours of the cathedral

Searching for colour

The city of museums

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The Maiolica of the staircase

A Nobel Prize in Modica

A prominent church

Feast days

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

From International Gothic to present day

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The theatre of taste

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A hall for the feasts

Between white and black

The two churches

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

A symbol for the town

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

One city, two sites

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

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

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

Feasting in Palazzolo

A miniature city

A triumph of colour

The wall comes to life

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

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

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The internal colours

The church of Carmine

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

The Baroque town by the sea

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

A colourful floor

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Two illustrious patron saints

A majestic and luminous church

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

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

Wonderful quick decorations

The Burgos crucifix

A square as the heart of the city

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The interior and its masterpieces

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

An eagle-shaped city

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Connections with other UNESCO sites

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

A long reconstruction

A new site for a new church

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

A museum to save a tradition

A city in colour

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

The chocolate of Modica

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

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The façade used as a puppet theatre

Some prestigious works

A small room with a golden entrance

Norman apses

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

Some masterpieces

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

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

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

New roads for Catania

The Staircase of Angels

Many owners, one palace

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A half-Baroque church

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A new site for a new city

The disastrous earthquake

A feast only for Scicli

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

One city, three sites