Villages in Sicily: Modica and Geraci Siculo

villages in Sicily

Sicily is an island where you can get lost in art cities, archaeological sites, amazing landscapes. And then, you can go from the peaks of Etna covered with snow to the blue waves of the sea, on the coast from which you can see some legendary archipelagos. You can enjoy the most hidden towns; they are small gems located in these unique corners of the world. Welcome to the villages in Sicily, so secret that you will want to reveal them to everyone!

Our journey, after we stopped in Gangi and Sambuca, continues towards Modica and Geraci Siculo. Let’s pack…gooo!

Modica, literature and flavors

To say ‘Modica’ is the same as saying ‘chocolate’. If you imagine walking through the villages in Sicily, once you arrive here you would stop hypnotized by the notes of cocoa, that is still used following an almost legendary Aztec technique. But you would be enchanted even by the scenic and architectural beauty. This is the homeland of Sicilian Baroque and is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. We are in the province of Ragusa, along the road to the town it is worth stopping to take at least one photo. The view is breathtaking: located on the top of a canyon, the view from the very high viaducts opens onto the gorges.

«Un teatro era il paese, un proscenio di pietre rosa, una festa di mirabilia. E come odorava di gelsomino sul far della sera. Non finirei mai di parlarne, di ritornare a specchiarmi in un così tenero miraggio di lontananze…».

This is how Gesualdo Bufalino describes it, an unexpected wonder to be discovered through their monuments such as the Saint George’s Cathedral – that is often considered the symbol of Sicilian Baroque, the Church of Carmine – that is one of the few buildings that weren’t destroyed by the violent earthquake in 1693 – , and the fourteenth-century Portale De Leva, that is a remarkable example of the Chiaramonte Gothic style and nowadays has been nominated National Monument. Moreover, there are many palaces, theaters, archaeological sites and some remains of a castle, even if the Museum of Salvatore Quasimodo is undoubtedly the centerpiece. What is the connection linking Modica and this famous writer?

villages in Sicily
Modica – Saint George’s Cathedral

Modica, words matter

The Nobel Prize in literature Salvatore Quasimodo was born in this village on August 20th, 1901, although the relationship with his city was not always idyllic. When he became famous, the poet used to say he was from Syracuse, a city characterized by a huge legacy left by Magna Graecia and therefore a tradition closer to his lyrical world. If you visit the museum dedicated to him, you can feel the atmosphere full of poetry, a place to remember and reflect. Here it is possible to observe some special editions of the publications of this artist, some photographs and objects that belonged to him.

villages in Sicily
Salvatore Quasimodo – Credits:

Geraci Siculo, the village with a thousand traditions

Let’s continue the itinerary among villages in Sicily, we are now in one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, part of the Madonie Regional Natural Park. We are in Geraci Siculo, a place that has been inhabited since prehistory and is characterized by a medieval urban layout. One of the main curiosities of this place are their traditions, such as the so-called Giostra dei Ventimiglia, that is a knightly tourney in medieval style, the thanksgiving festival dedicated to Saint Bartolus and Saint James, and the celebration of the Crucifix.

villages in Sicily
Geraci Siculo – Giostra dei Ventimiglia (Credits:

It’s important to mention two other celebrations: the first is the feast in honor of Maria SS. Annunziata, organized on the second Sunday of July and preceded by a Novena. What the inhabitants of the village remember is 1837, the year in which the people of Geraci, afflicted by cholera, went to the Church of the Annunziata alla Cava, took the picture of the Annunciation and carried it to the Main Church. Instantly, by a miracle, Geraci was freed from this plague. Another event you should mark on the calendar is ‘a Carvaccata di Vistiamara, a shepherds’ ride that has been handed down since 1643 and is celebrated on the third Sunday of July every seven years. We are talking about a parade on horseback that from the ‘cashier’s home’ proceeds through the streets of the village and ends in front of the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore.

What to visit in the flowered town

Once you have gone to Geraci Siculo, don’t miss the Castle, or rather the remains of the Ventimiglia Manor, that once had strenuously defended the city making it inaccessible. Furthermore, staying in the surrounding area, the church of Saint James deserves some time, in this building in 1984 the restoration works brought to light a precious Byzantine fresco of the fourteenth century.

Geraci Siculo – Castle

For those who are looking for something modern, let’s stop in front of the Universal Peace Monument erected inside the Parco delle Rimembranze, this is a sculpture made by the Sicilian artist Tommaso Geraci depicting Massimiliano Kolbe, Salvo D’Acquisto and Gandhi. What if you seek the perfect shot? The final stage is at the Salto del Ventimiglia, a panoramic glass walkway opened in 2014 built there where, according to the story, in 1338 Count Francesco I Ventimiglia threw himself with his horse to escape the troops of Peter II.

This is not the end of our tour among the villages in Sicily! Continue to follow Sicilian Secrets, read the articles on our blog and the interviews, without forgetting the news on our Facebook page and Instagram.

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