More About Modica
The ancient capital of the County of Modica, one of the most powerful cities of the Kingdom of Sicily, offers magnificent baroque churches and palaces representing the legacy of its prestigious history. The city was at its highest while being ruled by the Spanish and for seven centuries, the powerful County of Modica was a kingdom inside the Kingdom of Sicily, absorbing the Spaniards' fine culture and lifestyle.
Scicli - Sampieri
Like the major part of south-eastern Sicily, it was strongly hit by the 1693 earthquake and later rebuilt according to the Baroque style’s criteria. An impressive 250 step staircase makes the San Giorgio church ever more astonishing. Located in the upper side of the city it is one the most famous masterpieces on Modica.
Built by the architect Gagliardi, it has been decorated with stucco, statues and 16th century paintings by the likes of Alibrandi, who is considered the Sicilian Raphael, depicting scenes of the New Testament and San Giorgio's life. A wide staircase will take you to the twelfth century church of San Giovanni Battista, standing on the city's highest point.
In the lower side of the city churches like ‘’Santa Maria di Betlemme’’, ‘’del Carmine’’, ‘’delle Grazie e di San Pietro’’ can be senn. The saint is celebrated on the 29th of June each year with the procession of the holy relics on the old town’s streets lit by torches. Modica is the birthplace of the poet Salvatore Quasimodo, Nobel Prize winner for Literature in 1959, whose house today serves as a museum and can be accessed by the public.
The local specialty is the high quality Modican chocolate. Grainy, crumbly, flavored with cinnamon or vanilla, made according to the ancient Aztec recipe brought over by the Spaniards. Probably of the same origin are the 'mpanatigghi also. Crescent-shaped sort of raviolis filled with a mixture of chocolate, almonds, sugar, cinnamon and veal.
Typical Modican rotisserie offers ‘’arancine’’, ‘’scacce’’ (cakes) prepared in various ways, ‘’pastizza‘’small stuffed pies, ‘’buccatureddi’’ crescent-shaped stuffed with broccoli, ‘’tomasini’’ rose-shaped pasta stuffed with ricotta cheese and sausage and ’’'mpanati’’ buns stuffed with lamb meat.