Church of the Abbey of Sant’Agata in Catania
The Church of the Badia di Sant’Agata in Catania is one of the masterpieces of Sicilian Baroque.
The church is located in front of the north elevation of the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, overlooking Via Vittorio Emanuele II, and occupies, together with the annexed former monastery, an entire block.
It was built in the seventeenth century on a project by the architect Giovan Battista Vaccarini following the earthquake of 1693 during which the church was completely destroyed. In the work, the influence of Borromini, which Vaccarini made his own during a stay in Rome, is evident.
On the façade, the juxtaposition of concave and convex shapes produces an elegant movement, while an imposing octagonal dome dominates the building.
The interior, with a Greek cross plan, is embellished by the decorations in Bardiglio marble on the white Carrara marble of the floor, by altars in yellow Castronovo marble, statues and marbled stuccoes. The terraces and the walkway of the dome, opened to the public in 2015, offer an unprecedented view of the historic center of Catania, in a place full of suggestions from which the cloistered nuns of the adjacent monastery used to look out, unseen, on city life.