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scicli5Scicli is to be found at the confluence of three vallies, San Bartolomeo, Santa Maria la Nova and the Fiumara of Modica.  Like most of the area Scicli was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 in Baroque style  using optical illusions of space and light.  Scicli was the forgotten jewel of the Baroque for 2 hundred years, leading Anthony Blunt to describe it as ’baroque preserved in aspic’.  In the 1960’s the programme of urbanisation lead to new development and the creation of ‘Scicli South’ with its apartment blocks and open spaces, but with the UNESCO listing of Scicli, the town centre has been restored and today is attracting investment and tourism in equal measure.   For those who want to be near the sea, Scicli is only 5 km from the nearest beach, and for those who want a quieter town than Modica or Ragusa,  Scicli is the ideal spot.   Property prices are lower than in Modica, but the area is fast being ‘discovered’ and prices are rising rapidly.scicli2

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The origins of the city are uncertain.  It seems that the name name of the city derives from the Siculi, the tribe who inhabited the island in about 1000BC.  Like Modica, the first settlements were high up on the rocks, the zone of San Matteo,  but the city grew with the Hellenic invasion, swiftly followed by the Carthaginians, and then the Romans.   After the fall of the Empire, Scicli fell under Byzantine rule.  When the Arabs invaded, the city took the name Sikla, and slowly developed an agricultural development that survives to this day, despite the feudal system introduced by the Saracens who succeeded the Normans.  Perhaps it was the feudal privilege of ‘demesne’ that helped Scicli to survive this tumultuous period.  The city came under Modicas boundaries under the Aragonese domination.  scicli_02

Today Scicli is most famous as a film location. The hugely successful ‘Montalbano’ series is largely filmed in the area, and the new ‘Godfather’ film: The Boss of Bosses, has just been completed.  The town is also notable for its many spectacular events throughout the year, most notably San Giuseppe, The Madonna of the Militia and the Easter ‘Uomo vivo’

 

 

 

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