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Modica (RG)

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Modica (Ragusa Province) is 16 km from Ragusa, alt. 296 m, in the southern Monti Iblei, on a hill surrounded at the baste by two torrents, Pozzo dei Pruni and Janni Mauro, which flow together to form the Fiumara di Modica. Area 291 sq km, pop. 51,073, post-code 97015, tel. 0932. Economy: Agriculture (cereals, greenhouse vegetables, olives, almonds), cattle breeding (the local Modica breed); iron and steel products, building materials, animal feed.

The territory has been inhabited since the Bronze Age. Settlements of that epoch and a store of metal manufactured articles have been found. This was the Sicel city of Motyca, which certainly had already existed for some centuries before Rome subjected it on at least two occasions, the second time being in 212 BC. It was then declared a decuman city and subsequently a stipendiary city. The Arabs conquered it in 845, renaming it Mohac, and developed, as they did elsewhere, agriculture and stock-breeding; the resulting trade and commerce continued to flourish under the Normans. The Aragonese made it the capital of a County and the County of Modica is an expression that is still used today.

Partly because of its strategic position the city was for many centuries one of the most powerful fiefs of the Sicilian baronage, from the Chiaromontes (14th century) to the Henriquez-Cabreras (15th-18th centuries). The earthquake in 1693, which was felt in all the Val di Noto and destroyed most of Modica, led to the reconstruction of the town according to the canons of baroque architecture.

Of interest: Civic Museum; Museo Ibleo delle arti e tradizioni popolari (Hyblaean Art and Folklore Museum).; Town Hall; Palazzo Tedeschi; 17th century facade of Santa Maria del Soccorso; Castle Rock.

There is a sectional archives in Modica at:
Via Liceo Convitto, 33
97015 Modica (RG)

Churches (Noto Diocese) include the following:
S. Pietro Apostolo (Chiesa Madre, 18th century)
Chiesa del Carmine (historic)
Chiesa di San Domenico (historic)
Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista (historic)
Chiesa di San Giorgio (built in the 12th century, and rebuilt in the 18th century, historic)
Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Grazie (built in about 1615 but left unfinished and since restored, historic)
Chiesetta di San Giacomo (14th Century, historic)
Convento dei Padri Mercedari (18th century, historic)
Cuore Immacolato di Maria
Madonna delle Grazie
Madonna delle Grazie in Barco
Madonna delle LaGrime
Maria Assunta
Maria Ausilitrice
Maria Immacolata
Maria Madre della Chiesa
S. Anna
S. Elena
S. Filippo Neri
S. Giuseppe
S. Ippolito
S. Luca
S. Margherita
S. Maria di Betlem
S. Massimiliano Kolbe
S. Paolo Apostolo
S. Raffaele Arcangelo
Sacro Cuore
Sacro Cuore di Gesu'
Santa Maria di Betlem
SS. Redentore
Santissimo Salvatore
Sacra Famiglia (Friginitini - suburb of Modica)
Cristo Risorto (Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)
Madonna della Catena (Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)
S. Antonio di Padova (Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)
S. Giorgio (Chiesa Madre; Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)
S. Giovanni Evangelista (Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)
S. Teodoro (Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)
S. Teresa (Modica Alta - suburb of Modica)

Families researched in these records include the following:


Links to other sites about Modica include:

Sicilian Net
Sicily Web
Italian Wikipedia
Italian Towns
Italian Postal Codes

My latest book on CD is titled Sicily - A Reference for Researchers and is now available. With a file for each town (plus many other files), it relates the history of Sicily as reflected in the photos, records and festivals of its towns. It contains over 2500 text and photo files and can be ordered at CD order.

Order Italy Kathy Kirkpatrick

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© Kathy Kirkpatrick 2002-2008