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.

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

The internal colours

A hall for the feasts

The wall comes to life

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A long reconstruction

Two illustrious patron saints

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

Discovering the mother church

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The colours of the cathedral

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

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

An eagle-shaped city

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

A small room with a golden entrance

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

Prominent façade

Between white and black

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

Feasting in Palazzolo

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

The church of Carmine

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A square as the heart of the city

The theatre of taste

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

A city in colour

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

From International Gothic to present day

A museum to save a tradition

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Wonderful quick decorations

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

Some masterpieces

Many owners, one palace

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

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

A miniature city

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

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

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A prominent church

Feast days

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

One city, two sites

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Norman apses

A colourful floor

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A talking palace

A feast only for Scicli

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The disastrous earthquake

The two churches

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The Baroque town by the sea

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

The Burgos crucifix

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

A new site for a new church

St. Sebastian, so much work!

One city, three sites

Some prestigious works

A new site for a new city

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

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

Searching for colour

A symbol for the town

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

A half-Baroque church

The chocolate of Modica

A triumph of colour

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

A majestic and luminous church

The interior and its masterpieces

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The city of museums

The Staircase of Angels

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

New roads for Catania

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

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

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The Maiolica of the staircase