Celebration of taste
art and culture
Modica is rich in architecture and is already very well known for its other gastronomic and cultural specialities. It has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 2002 and a must for visitors to the Noto Valley [Val di Noto].
Just as in the other cities of south-eastern Sicily, the baroque style dominates and, like Noto, it developed after an earthquake. In fact, the architecture of this city changed after the earthquake of 1693, favouring the construction of historic palaces and squares with churches characterised by their spectacular flights of steps. The number of places of worship has earned Modica the nickname “city of the hundred churches”.
The Cathedral of Saint George [Duomo di San Giorgio] with its particularly spectacular architecture is considered the monument that best symbolises Sicilian baroque and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. You reach this masterpiece of baroque architecture after climbing an impressive flight of 260 steps. The Cathedral of Saint George, with five naves and 22 astounding columns topped with Corinthian capitals, contains precious paintings.
Besides the architectural interest, there is also a museum containing the works of prestigious Sicilian artists and others. One of the quirks of this rich and sumptuous church is an altar with a sundial. If you visit at midday, you can see the sundial in action; the ray of sunlight at that time enters from the hole in the gnomon - the part of the sundial that projects its shadow on the plate - and indicates the local midday.
Modica chocolate is famous worldwide and has received a host of prizes. This chocolate is obtained from a special cold processing process and one of its peculiarities is its grainy consistency.
It is so important that a fair has been dedicated to this prized product, Chocomodica, a wine and food event during which you can taste real Modica chocolate. During the fair, you can walk through ancient palaces and other buildings open exclusively for this event and also taste other gastronomic specialities on a veritable tasting tour.