SCICLI - a bit of history

Travelling from ragusa or Modica, wonderful Scicli appears almost suddenly from a bed in the road. The town is situated in a valley below limestone rocks which seem to protect it, and the blue Mediterranean sea on the horizon completes the view.

Scicli is one of the most beautiful baroque towns in the area of the Hyblaean mountains, was an indomitable and victorious town: the only Hyblaean town which was able to drive the Saracens out.

There are numerous theories on the very ancient origins of Scicli. The most reliable one is related to the history of other nearby towns where traces of settlements of the ancient inhabitants of Sicily, the Siculi, have been brought to light. The name Scicli would come from "Siclis" that is Siculi.

The seventheen century appearance of the town is the result of the 1693 earthquake. The reconstruction of Scicli was based on the Baroque principles of space and illusionary effects. Churches are buildings were Knowledgeably situated in the urban plan and gave life to a small form of architectural work of art which is unfortunately not well known.

Scicli is a spectacular town, made of artistic spaces cut on the rock and of light and shade effects, where nature, landscapes and art in churches and palaces mix together into uncommon and beautiful contrasts. Of interest is the Church of St. Bartolomeo (15th century), the Church of San Matteo, the Church of S. Maria La Nova and the baroque Beneventano Palace.

The city today is a popular destination for tourists and visitors, partially because of Inspector Montalbano, the main character of a popular TV series. However, it is also growing as a resort town that is realizing its economic potentialities thanks to the environmental and architectural wonders of its territory.

SCICLI - Mormina Penna Road

Mormina Penna road is surely amongs the most beautiful baroque constructions, creating with nobiliary places and clerical monuments surprising series of continuous, perspective and always different foreshortenings and original urban solutions, due to various concomitant causes, but that together, which rarely ever happens, have contributed to make this road, almost a "unicum", a pure and real realization of the baroque idea of space, lught and armony.

SCICLI - Church of San Giovanni

From the town Hall go to Saint John's Church with its elegant concave facade harmonised by a series of double semi/columns, of which the central part extends as far as the third order, making it seem longer and majestic. The second order and the windows of the third are highlighted by ornate wrought iron bars. The elliptic interior, proceded by a vestibule and terminating in a semi-circular apse, ir richly decorated with stuccoes, glided ornaments and small architectural Baroque works of art. The columns, which create a spacious effects, and the four chapels and Don Vincenzo Signorelli's beautiful centrally painted dome all stand out in a particular way. Construction work on the church began halfway throught the seventeenth century was finished in1803: now the church is used as a memorial chapel for the Fallen.

SCICLI - Beneventano Palace

The baroque Palazzo beneventano,one of the most famous buildings in the city, and without doubt, one of the most rapresentative in the Province of Ragusa.

The corner sourmonted by a continual cornice, which defines the height of the building, is perhaps the most beautiful part of the whole building: it is characterised by artistic decorations of rusticated pilaster strips, and embellished by teo Moors' head higher up and by "St. Giuseppe" lower down. There are splendid balconies with beautiful curved wrought iron bars supported by brackets depicting fantastic animal. masks and caricatures of humans, which are proof of a skilled artistic hand influenced by the mannerisms of that period are set in the arches of the first floor windows.

SCICLI - Fava Palace
the Palazzo Fava is a classic example of 1700' Baroque architecture with a large entrance and beautiful balconies. The entrance has lateral columns on plinths and Corinthian capitals crowned by the faces of cherubs. on the arch, there is a face surrounded by Acanthus leaves for hais. The ornate balcony, with its magnificent noble crest in the center is decorated with typically baroque curved iron bars and wrought iron flowers. Among all the richly decorated balconies, the one which overlooks Via S. bartolomeo stand out from all the others because of its supporting brackets shaped like galloping  horses, winged dragons and fantastic creatures ridden by winged cherubs.