The Info List - Modica

--- Advertisement ---

[ˈmɔːdika] (Sicilian: Muòrica, Greek: Μότουκα, Motouka, Latin: Mutyca or Motyca) is a city and comune of 54.456 inhabitants in the Province of Ragusa, Sicily, southern Italy. The city is situated in the Hyblaean Mountains. Modica
has neolithic origins and it represents the historical capital of the area which today almost corresponds to the Province of Ragusa. Until the 19th century it was the capital of a County that exercised a so wide political, economical and cultural influence as it has been counted among the most powerful feuds of the Mezzogiorno. Today Modica
is well known for its rich repertoire of culinary specialities, especially the typical chocolate inspired by an aztec recipe, and for its historical centre. Rebuilt following the devastating earthquake of 1693, its architecture has been recognised as providing outstanding testimony to the exuberant genius and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe and, along with other towns in the Val di Noto, is part of UNESCO Heritage Sites
UNESCO Heritage Sites
in Italy.


1 History 2 Main sights 3 Economy 4 Culture 5 See also 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

History[edit] According to Thucydides, the city was founded in 1360 BC or 1031 BC and was inhabited by the Sicels
in the 7th century BC. It was probably a dependency of Syracuse. Modica
was occupied by the Romans after the battle of the Egadi
islands against the Carthaginians
in the Punic Wars 241 BC, together with Syracuse and all of Sicily. Modica
became one of the thirty-five decuman ("spontaneously submitted") cities of the island and was oppressed by the praetor Verres.[1] It became an independent municipium, and apparently a place of some consequence. The city is also mentioned among the inland towns of the island both by Pliny and Ptolemy; and though its name is not found in the Itineraries, it is again mentioned by the Geographer of Ravenna.[2] Silius Italicus
Silius Italicus
also includes it in his list of Sicilian cities, and immediately associates it with Netum
(now Noto
Antico), with which it was clearly in the same neighborhood.[3] The southeast of Sicily
and Modica
(according to the German historian L. Hertling) was rapidly Christianized, as the diocese of Syracuse boasts an apostolic foundation by St. Paul in 61 AD.[4] In 535, the Byzantine general Belisarius
expelled the Ostrogoths
and established for Justinian I the government of the East-Roman Empire (also known as the Byzantine Empire) and the already Greek-speaking population fixed their culture until the Latinization of the Normans in the 11th century. In 845, Modica
was captured by the Arabs during the Muslim conquest of Sicily.[5] They referred to the city as Mudiqah.[6] The year after its capture, the Arabs fortified its citadels and it subsequently prospered under their rule.[7][8] In 1091 the conquest of Modica
and the entire Val di Noto
Val di Noto
ended the long lasting war of the Normans, led by Roger of Hauteville, against the Arabs. In 1296, Modica
became the capital of an important county, which under the Chiaramonte
family became a flourishing semi-independent state controlling the whole southern third of the island, with the right of a mint of its own and other privileges (see County of Modica). On Assumption day 15 August 1474, Christians wreaked brutal havoc on the Jewish dwellers of the Cartellone area of Modica, the so-called "Strage dell'Assunta" (massacre of the assumption). This episode was the first and most horrible antisemitic massacre of Sicilian Israelites. During the evening a number of Christians (fomented by fanatic Catholic preachers inspired by the inquisitorial repression) slaughtered about 360 innocents causing a total and fierce devastation in La Giudecca. The incitement that echoed through the streets was: "Hurrah for Mary! Death to the Jews!" (Viva Maria! Morte ai Giudei!).[9] Later, the earthquake of 1693 destroyed the entire Val di Noto, and to a slightly lesser extent in Modica. Annexed to Italy
in 1860, Modica remained district capital until 1926, when it was included in the province of Ragusa. Main sights[edit]

The Castle of the Counts of Modica.

consists of two urban centres, " Modica
Alta" (Upper Modica) and " Modica
Bassa" (Lower Modica). The older upper part is perched on the rocky top of the southern Ibeli hill, the lower part is built on the lower slopes and valley below. The walk down from Modica
Alta to Modica
Bassa reveals vistas of the lower town and involves many steps; not many attempt the reverse journey on foot. During the last century the city has extended and developed new suburbs which include Sacro Cuore (or "Sorda"), Monserrato, Idria, these are often referred to as Modern Modica; both old and modern quarters of the city are today joined by one of Europe's higher bridge, the Guerrieri bridge, 300 metres (980 ft) long. Despite being ravaged by earthquakes in 1613 and 1693, and floods in 1833 and 1902, Modica
has retained some of the most beautiful architecture in Sicily. Much of the city was rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake with imposing and conspicuous urban monuments in the Sicilian Baroque
Sicilian Baroque
style. The large Baroque Cathedral "San Giorgio" is dedicated to St George. While the cathedral was rebuilt following the earthquake of 1693, like many other parts of the city its roots are in the Middle Ages. From the front of the Cathedral a staircase of 300 steps leads down towards Modica
Bassa. Another notable church is "San Pietro", dedicated to St Peter, in Modica
Bassa, featuring a principal façade crowned by a typical Sicilian Baroque
Sicilian Baroque
belltower, 49 metres (161 ft) high. Other sights include:

Castello dei Conti (Castle) Chiesa del Carmine Church of St. Mary of Betlehem Garibaldi Theater Mercedari Palace -contains a museum and library

Economy[edit] The economy of the area once principally agricultural producing olives, carobs, legumes, cereals, and cattle; an extraordinary and unique product is the famous chocolate of Modica, produced with an ancient and original Aztec
recipe. The city has now been joined by factories producing textiles, furniture and cars. Tourism is also an important industry to the area, since Modica
entered the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Culture[edit] The eighteenth century saw Modica
in the role of art and culture town, counting philosophers (Tommaso Campailla), poets (Girolama Grimaldi Lorefice), a school of medicine (Campailla, Gaspare Cannata, Michele Gallo, the Polara family) and literary academies among its inhabitants. In the nineteenth century, feudalism was abolished and Modica
became a "bourgeois" town peopled by notables such as the writer and anthropologist Serafino Amabile Guastella, the agronomist Clemente Grimaldi, the musician Pietro Floridia and many painters, historians and other intellectuals. Modica
was also the birthplace of writer Salvatore Quasimodo, recipient of the Nobel Prize for Literature
Nobel Prize for Literature
in 1959. See also[edit]

County of Modica History of Sicily Sicilian Baroque


^ Cicero, In Verrem, 1, III, 51 ^ Plin. iii. 8. § 14 ; Ptol. iii. 4. § 14; Geogr. Rav. v. 23. ^ Sil. Ital. xiv. 268. ^ Acts of the Apostles 28:12 ^ Kenneth Meyer Setton (1969). A History of the Crusades: The first hundred years, edited by M. W. Baldwin (illustrated ed.). Univ of Wisconsin Press. p. 45. ISBN 9780299048341.  ^ Gerard-Sharp, Lisa, ed. (1993). Sicily
(illustrated ed.). APA Publications. p. 259. ISBN 9780395657782.  ^ Gerard-Sharp, Lisa, ed. (1993). Sicily
(illustrated ed.). APA Publications. p. 259. ISBN 9780395657782.  ^ The Modern Part of an Universal History: From the Earliest Account of Time. Compiled from Original Writers. By the Authors of The Antient Part. S. Richardson, T. Osborne, C. Hitch, A. Millar, John Rivington, S. Crowder, P. Davey and B. Law, T. Longman, and C. Ware. 1759. p. 426.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ http://www.modica.it/itinerario_quartieri.htm


 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Smith, William, ed. (1854–1857). "article name needed". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: John Murray. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons
has media related to: Modica

Visit Modica: Tourism Portal
for the visitors to the city of Modica Visit Modica: Tourismusportal für Besucher der Modica
(in German) Modica
online (in Italian) Motyca Smith, William ed., Dictionary of Greek and Roman Dictionary. London: John Murray.

v t e

· Comuni of the Province of Ragusa

Acate Chiaramonte
Gulfi Comiso Giarratana Ispica Modica Monterosso Almo Pozzallo Ragusa Santa Croce Camerina Scicli Vittoria

v t e

World Heritage Sites in Italy


Crespi d'Adda Genoa Mantua
and Sabbioneta Monte San Giorgio1 Porto Venere, Palmaria, Tino and Tinetto, Cinque Terre

Corniglia Manarola Monterosso al Mare Riomaggiore Vernazza

Residences of the Royal House of Savoy

Castle of Moncalieri Castle of Racconigi Castle of Rivoli Castello del Valentino Royal Palace of Turin Palazzo Carignano Palazzo Madama, Turin Palace of Venaria Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi Villa della Regina

Rhaetian Railway
Rhaetian Railway
in the Albula / Bernina Landscapes1 Rock Drawings in Valcamonica Sacri Monti of Piedmont and Lombardy Santa Maria delle Grazie, Milan Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe- Roero
and Monferrato


Aquileia The Dolomites Ferrara Modena Cathedral, Torre della Ghirlandina
Torre della Ghirlandina
and Piazza Grande, Modena Orto botanico di Padova Ravenna Venice Verona City of Vicenza and the Palladian Villas of the Veneto


Assisi Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi Etruscan Necropolises of Cerveteri
and Tarquinia Florence Hadrian's Villa Medici villas Piazza del Duomo, Pisa Pienza Rome2 San Gimignano Siena Urbino Val d'Orcia Villa d'Este


Alberobello Amalfi Coast Castel del Monte, Apulia Cilento
and Vallo di Diano
Vallo di Diano
National Park, Paestum
and Velia, Certosa di Padula Herculaneum Oplontis
and Villa Poppaea Naples Palace of Caserta, Aqueduct of Vanvitelli
Aqueduct of Vanvitelli
and San Leucio
San Leucio
Complex Pompeii Sassi di Matera


Aeolian Islands Arab-Norman Palermo and the Cathedral Churches of Cefalù and Monreale Archaeological Area of Agrigento Barumini nuraghes Mount Etna Syracuse and Necropolis of Pantalica Val di Noto

Caltagirone Catania Militello in Val di Catania Modica Noto Palazzolo Acreide Ragusa Scicli

Villa Romana del Casale


Longobards in Italy, Places of Power (568–774 A.D.)

Brescia Cividale del Friuli Castelseprio Spoleto Temple of Clitumnus
Temple of Clitumnus
located at Campello sul Clitunno Santa Sofia located at Benevento Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
Sanctuary of Monte Sant'Angelo
located at Monte Sant'Angelo

Prehistoric pile dwellings around the Alps3 Primeval Beech Forests of Europe4 Venetian Works of Defence between 15th and 17th centuries5

Bergamo Palmanova Peschiera del Garda

1 Shared with Switzerland 2 Shared with the Holy See 3 Shared with Austria, France, Germany, Slovenia, and Switzerland 4 Shared with Albania, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain
and Ukraine 5 Shared with Croatia
and Montenegro

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 240415007 LCCN: n86128