Scicli on Sicily

Monday, 2 January 2023 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  4 minutes

© trolvag/cc-by-sa-3.0

© trolvag/cc-by-sa-3.0

Scicli is a town and municipality in the Province of Ragusa in the south east of Sicily, southern Italy. It is 25 kilometres (16 mi) from Ragusa, and 188 kilometres (117 mi) from Palermo, and has a population (2017) of 27,051. Alongside seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it has been listed as one of UNESCO‘s World Heritage Sites. The municipality borders with Modica and Ragusa. The economy of Scicli is mostly agricultural, and the area is renowned for its many greenhouses producing the primizie (“early fruits”) that are exported all over Italy.

Settlements of the area of Scicli dates back to the Copper and Early Bronze Ages (3rd millennium BCE to the 15th century BCE). Scicli was founded by the Sicels (whence probably the name) around 300 BCE. In 864 CE, Scicli was conquered by the Arabs, as part of the Muslim conquest of Sicily. Under their rule it flourished as an agricultural and trade center. According to geographer Muhammad al-Idrisi, “shipping reached Scicli in Sicily from Calabria, Africa, Malta and many other places.” In 1091, it was conquered from the Arabs by the Normans, under Roger I of Hauteville, after a fierce battle. Scicli was one of the garrison which rebelled against the Angevine domination in the Sicilian Vespers (April 5, 1282). The ruling AragoneseSpanish kings formed the County of Modica and initially placed it under the rule of the Chiaramonte family. From there it became a feud of the Cabrera family until nearly the mid-18th century. A number of counts from the House of Alba nominally held possession until the county the Kingdom of Italy in the mid 19th century. Following a catastrophic earthquake in 1693, much of the town was rebuilt in the Sicilian baroque style, which today gives the town the elegant appearance which draws many tourists to visit it.

Town hall © Nad6854/cc-by-sa-3.0 © trolvag/cc-by-sa-3.0 Donnalucata © panoramio.com - Nicola Feola/cc-by-3.0 Madonna del Carmine © panoramio.com - Николай Максимович/cc-by-3.0 Palazzo Beneventano © Davide Mauro/cc-by-sa-4.0 San Bartolomeo © Gmelfi/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Madonna del Carmine © panoramio.com - Николай Максимович/cc-by-3.0
Among the main sights are:

  • San Matteo: this was the local “mother church” of the town until 1874. It is located on the eponymous hill in the old city, where there is also the ruin of an Arab/Norman castle.
  • Santa Marìa la Nova: church with a large Neoclassic façade. The interior houses a cypress-wood statue of Madonna della Pietà, probably of Byzantine origin.
  • San Bartolomeo baroque church
  • Sant’Ignazio (Mother Church of St Ignatius of Loyola), houses the highly venerated image of Madonna dei Milìci (Culture section).
  • San Michele Arcangelo
  • Santa Maria la Nova
  • Palazzo Fava, one of the first and largest Baroque palaces in the town. Notable are the late-Baroque decorations of the portal and the balconies, especially the one on the Via San Bartolomeo.
  • The Town Hall, the Palazzo Spadaro and the Palazzo Beneventano, all boast Baroque decorations.

Read more on Wikivoyage Scicli and Wikipedia Scicli (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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