Palazzi and houses rise from the bottom of the gorge seemingly stacked one on top of the other. Magnificent churches, with their inspiring domes, bell towers and intricate facades, punctuate the red-tiled roofs and one is struck by the uniform beauty of the whole.
The County of Modica was created in 1296, with the title of count awarded to Manfredi Chiaramonte. From Middle Ages to today, Modica has experienced profound changes to its social, economic and urban set-up, and has taken on diverse identities and functions depending on the various historical contexts.
It started as a perfect example of a fortified city, with the castle and the old Mother-Church of San Giorgio, whilst outside the walls, in the quarter of Cartellone, a flourishing Jewish community demonstrates the multi-cultural relations of the inhabitants. In the 16th and 17th centuries, the city undergoes profound urban changes, the main part of the city shifts towards the lower area, this period also see the effects of the decision of the Council of Trent to move religious architecture inside the city walls.
The terrible earthquake of 1693, which destroyed so many towns in the area, opens the door to a new era: Modica is rebuilt as a city of art and culture, through the development of late baroque scenery.
Modica is also the birth place of famous world class fencers, including Giorgio Avola, who won the gold medal at the 2012 Summer Olympics, and Eugenio Migliore, Champion of the World Masters Men’s Foil Individual in 2006. The local Conad Scherma Modica (fencing association) founded in 1984 is a tribute to the importance of sport for Modica.