Category Archives: Sicilian Baroque

Incredible Vino con Vista UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeastern Baroque Sicily

Modica

Modica (Photo credit: Francesco Di Martino)

Modica By Night

Modica By Night (Photo credit: Landersz)

Modica, Sizilien, Chiesa S.

Image via Wikipedia

Church of San Giorgio, Ragusa. Designed in 173...

Church of San Giorgio, Ragusa. Designed in 1738 by Rosario Gagliardi, it is approached by huge staircase of some 250 steps (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illustration 3: A Sicilian belfry crowns Rosar...

Illustration 3: A Sicilian belfry crowns Rosario Gagliardi’s Church of San Giuseppe in Ragusa Ibla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Modica

Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chiesa di San Domenico - Noto

Chiesa di San Domenico – Noto (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Coat of arms of Modica

Coat of arms of Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Castle of the Counts of Modica.

The Castle of the Counts of Modica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla.

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

St. John Church in (Sicily), built already in ...

St. John Church in (Sicily), built already in the 12th century, but rebuilt in the Baroque style in the 18th century. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Illustration 10: The Cathedral of San Giorgio,...

Illustration 10: The Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Witness  the dramatic landscape, the enchanting wine regions and the historical UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto in Southeastern Sicily.  Southeastern Sicily is a “buon appetito” and Vino con Vista paradise. Culinary arts are truly appreciated in this region. They have mastered the art of merging a cultural kaleidoscope into delightful multi-cultural gourmet cuisine.

A baroque church in Modica

A baroque church in Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are eight towns in southeastern Sicily that were all rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli.  They are considered the “Pearls of Sicily” and are characterized by buildings with splendid facades and interiors. The devastating earthquake gave the architects a blank slate, so they selected the opulent Baroque style and built the structures using a local white limestone.  These UNESCO jewels are filled with gorgeous Baroque architecture. The buildings and churches are covered with ornate limestone that has a soft honey-colored patina from the sun.

1. Noto is the administrative center of the Noto Valley.  On the eastern side of Noto the Porta Reale (Royal Gate) was erected in 1838 for King Ferdinand II.  It offers a grand entrance to Piazza Municipio and Corso Vittorio Emanuel, Noto’s main streets. Visit the Church and Convent of San Francesco and the Church of San Carlo al Corso. The Church of San Domenico and the Palazzo Villadorta are also worthwhile.  Noto Antica was particularly significant during Arab domination.  Under Arab rule, Sicily was divided into three districts and Noto was a key player. The Sicilian Baroque Cathedral of San Nicolo is in the Piazza XVI Maggio. The cathedral recently received a new cupola.

2. Ragusa was built on two levels and is divided into two parts:  Modern and Ibla. Ragusa Ibla is cloaked with interesting medieval history.   In Ibla visit the Palazzo Bertini on Corso Italia 35.  It was built by the Floridia family in the 1700s.  The building is characterized by three interesting carved masks located in the keystones of the windows that represent three powers. These faces convey an interesting story about Sicily.  Visit the Palazzo Donnafugata.  The Palazzo houses an art gallery with canvases by Hans Memling, Ribera and Antonello Messina. In Ragusa the elaborate churches include Chiesa Giovanni Batista and the Cheisa de San Domenico with the majolica bell tower.  The Cathedral was named after St. John the Baptist and was built on top of the church of Saint Nicholas after the earthquake of 1693.

3. Modica is divided into two areas:  Modica Alta (upper Modica) and Modica Bassa (lower Modica).  Two noteworthy monuments are Saint George’s Cathedral in Modica Alta and Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Modica Bassa. Saint George’s Cathedral was built around 1350. It was partially destroyed by the earthquake of 1613 and completely demolished by the devastating earthquake of 1693.  It was reconstructed at the start of the 18th century by Mario Spada from Ragusa and Rosario Boscarino from Modica in the Late Baroque style. The statues of the Apostles line the entrance to the church on Corso Umberto, the town’s main artery.

To enter Upper Modica (Alta) take Via Garibaldi from Saint Peter’s Church. Walk about 250 steps to the Church of Saint George with a panoramic view of Lower Modica. The rose-colored limestone church has twelve columns and five naves with a central dome and two lateral domes. In the church, admire the inlaid silver holy chest in front of the altar. It was made in Venice in the 14th century and donated to the church by the Chiaramonte earls.

To learn more about Sicily read www.vino-con-vista.com Travel Guides and

Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

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Easter and Holy Week Rituals in Sicily: Buona Pasqua

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica, Sic...

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio, Modica, Sicily, Italy. Français : Cathédrale San Giorgio, Modica, Sicile, Italie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

English: Coat of Arms of Caltanissetta, Sicily...

English: Coat of Arms of Caltanissetta, Sicily, Italy (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Coat of arm of Sicily

English: Coat of arm of Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A baroque church in Modica

A baroque church in Modica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many towns in Sicily have a

 

Petralia Sottana, Sicily

Petralia Sottana, Sicily (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

strong tradition of religious rites and ceremonies that date from the Spanish Domination of the 15th-17th centuries. These rites are demonstrated during mystic Holy Week celebrations.

 

On Good Friday at 5:00 p.m., the Society of the Passion of Christ  leaves their parish church and is joined by all the other Confraternities on Via Roma. They make their way to Chiesa dell’Addorlarato. The statue of  “Our Lady  of the Seven Sorrows” is carried to to the Cathedral where the Urn of the Dead Christ awaits her. At 7:00 p.m., thousands march in a solemn and silent torch-lit  procession behind men dressed in white hooded costumes. These costumes represent medieval fraternities of artisans and artists (Confraternities). Today there are 15 of the original 34 Confraternities still in existence. They take turns carrying marble statues of a deceased Christ and “Our Lady of Sorrows.” The group is accompanied by 24 symbols of Christ’s martrydom including the cross containing a reliquary of the “Crown of Thorns” and tools of flagellation.  Watch this video of Easter Rituals in Enna http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ3kX-uGRec&feature=related.

 

Holy Week celebrations begin on Palm Sunday with the Procession of the Confraternities, the L’Ura  from their individual churches to the Duomo  in solemn Eucharistic adoration.  The Baroque Duomo was founded by Eleonora, the wife of the 13th century Swabian King Frederick II.  The Cathedral has a spacious 16th century interior. The Confraternities are accompanied by the town band on their way to the Cathedral.

 

On Easter Sunday the ritual involves “A Paci” when the statues of the Resurrected Christ and Mary are reunited in the Cathedral Square under a joyous celebration of ringing bells.

 

Some of the other towns in Sicily where you can witness elaborate Holy Week (Settimana Santa) and Easter (Pasqua) rituals include:

 

Modica http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ajKBBwQBtg&feature=related

 

Caltanissetta http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CYUq5jXAB-8&feature=related

 

Corleone http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gMksfWbHhU

 

Vizzini http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0SO-KekZSTY

 

and Petralia Sottana U “Ncuontru http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ePVTL00S3U

 

Petralia Sottana (PA), Panorama parziale.

Petralia Sottana (PA), Panorama parziale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about Sicily go to  www.vino-con-vista.com.

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites.
 

 

 

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Filed under Easter in Enna Sicily, Easter in Rome, Holy Week in Rome, Italian Architecture, Italy Travel Guides, Pasqua in Sicily, Sicilian Baroque, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites in SIcily, vino con vista, Volcano, World Heritage Sites

Celebrate the Feast Day of Saint George in Vino con Vista Ragusa Sicily

English: Dome of the cathedral of Ragusa Ibla ...

English: Dome of the cathedral of Ragusa Ibla Italiano: Cupola del Duomo di San Giorgio a Ragusa Ibla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ragusa

Ragusa (Photo credit: Gustavo Caprioli)

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla.

English: Cathedral of San Giorgio in Ragusa Ibla. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ragusa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Sicily. It is divided into two parts:  Modern and Ibla.  Ragusa Ibla is the lower part of the town and has medieval remains and elegant Baroque buildings and monuments.

In Ragusa, visit the beautiful churches near Piazza Duomo.  The imposing Cathedral of St. George (San Georgio) with the majestic neo-classical dome is one of the most significant works of Baroque Sicilian.  The church was built on top of the church of Saint Nicholas after the earthquake of 1693. Climb 250 steps to see the beautiful church that was designed by Rosario Gagliardo and completed in 1775.

Saint George is the patron saint of Ragusa. The feast of Saint George is celebrated on the last day of May when his statue is carried out of the Basilica and paraded through the streets with a Holy Chest (Santa Cassa) in a lively procession http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVjihqlF-x4&NR=1.

On his annual feast day, the statue of Saint George, the dragon-slaying knight, has an event packed day. He watches the fireworks in Ragusa http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mvf–DqSJmQ&feature=related before he returns to his noble post inside the church.

In Ragusa Ibla, visit the Palazzo Bertini on Corso Italia 35.  It was built by the Floridia family in the 1700s.  The building is characterized by three masks located in the keystones of the windows which represent three powers.  The first mask represents the poor deformed man with his tongue sticking out with some missing teeth.  This mask represents the power of he who has nothing has nothing to lose.  Another mask represents a tradesman with a turban and moustache.  This mask symbolizes that he who has everything and can do anything thanks his money.  The central mask symbolizes the nobleman, sculpted in the frontal position.  This represents that he who can do anything, even if it is illegal, represents the power of the aristocracy.

I love the detailed balconies in Ragusa

On Piazza Duomo there is a lovely fountain and the Palazzo Donnafugata.  The Palazzo houses an art gallery with canvases by Hans Memling, Ribera, and Antonello do Messina.

There are many Vino con Vista opportunities in the province of Ragusa: dine at Il Duomo, a Michelin-rated favorite on Via Capitano Bocchieri 31 or Locanda Da Serafino on Via XI Febbraio 15.

Bagglio la Pergola on Contrada Selvaggio is a great place for lunch in Ragusa.  The scacce and mpanate are little stuffed pizzas.  The Ragusans love their pasta and serve it many ways. Pasta a picurara, brood di maiale, trippa alla ragusana, maccarunedda, Mpanatigghi, and cuccia are all regional specialties.

Toast to the delightful cuisine with a glass of  red Cerasuolo di Vittoria or enjoy some of the dessert wines like moscato, solicchiato, perpetuo or stravecchio Siciliano.  There is an excellent Pasticceria on Corso Vittorio Venato where you can stock up with sweets.

There is an 18th century farmhouse “Ermeo Dell Giubiliana” on the way to Marina di Ragusa that is an interesting agriturismo option.  Or consider staying at The Mediterraneo Palace on via Roma 89 or Rafael on Corso Italia 40.

These enchanting towns are isolated by the Iblean Mountains. Unfortunately, they are still at risk of eruptions from Mount Etna and earthquakes.

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Travel Guides and Vino Con Vista Travel Guides can be purchased at these sites

To learn more about Sicily visit www.vino-con-vista.com

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Filed under IPad, Italian Architecture, Italian art, Italian Cheese, Italian Food, Italian Food and Wine, Italian Wine, Italy, Italy Travel Guides, Michelin Restaurants in Italy, Ragusa, Saint George in Ragusa Sicily, Sicilian Baroque, Sicilian WIne, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides, Travel and Tourism, UNESCO, UNESCO WOrld Heritage Sites in SIcily, vino con vista, World Heritage Sites

Marzipan Festival in Catania Sicily to Honor St. Agatha

English: Catania Duomo from Sicily Français : ...

Image via Wikipedia

Catania Sicily has beautiful Baroque architecture. You can see the top of the spectacular volcano, Mount Etna. From February 3rd-5th make plans to attend the festival that honors Catania’s patron saint, Sant’Agata.

Three days of festivities revolve around sweets made from Marzipan.

Martyrdom of St Agatha by Sebastiano del Piomb...

Image via Wikipedia

Catania is famous for its patron saint, Sant’ Agata. Her festival is held every February to celebrate her life.

The Piazza del Duomo, found at the heart of the city, has a fascinating Fountain of the Elephant (Fontana del Elefante) designed in 1736. It combines a lava stone elephant, dating from Roman times, with an enchanting Egyptian obelisk.

Italiano: Martino Montanini (+ 1562), Sant'Aga...

Image via Wikipedia

 

Dr. EveAnn Lovero writes Sicily Travel Guides @ www.vino-con-vista.com

 

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Filed under Catania Sicily Festival to honor Saint Agatha, Italy Travel Guides, Mount Etna, Sicilian Baroque, Sicily, Sicily Architecture, Sicily Art, Sicily History, Sicily Travel Guides