Discover some of the most beautiful monuments of the Baroque Sicily. Live local celebrations of the Patroni (Saints of the town), or attend local & international art festivals.


Modica is divided into two parts, “higher” Modica and “lower” Modica, which are connected by numerous flights of steps.

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.

Some Highlights

  • San Pietro and its patron saint’s festival
  • Church of San Nicola Inferiore and its cloister
  • The chocolate of Modica, history and tradition
  • Garibaldi theatre
  • Flee market, last Sunday of the month
  • Evening view from the Pizzo
  • Last but not least…the granite!
Madonna Vasa Vasa

An event going all the way back to 1643, taking place on Easter Sunday, and which is now an essential part of Modica’s culture. There is a truly magical moment, when Virgin Mary finally kisses the Risen Christ after having looked for him all through the town. The silent crowd erupts in joy, all generations bond in the same emotion.

Watch our 2016 video with the explanations of a local historian

Palazzo Polara

Dating from the 1700s, the family crest of the Polara family, the north star, is visible on the gables of the building. The building is a classic example of the baroque stile, including its elegant staircase.

Duomo of San Giorgio

St George sits atop a scenic staircase of 164 steps above Corso Umberto. Symbol of the Baroque in Sicily, it is included in the World Heritage list of the Unesco. Among the beauties displayed in the cathedral, there is a special masterpiece item that you should not miss by visiting the church at midday…the amazing paved sundial!

The choice of visits will depend on the season and the events taking place in Modica.
8 stunning days to discover the real Sicilian culture!

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