A View from the the Mayor's Office, Scicli, Sicily, Italy
Scicli. Town Hall.
Scicli is a city in the Province of Ragusa in the south east of Sicily, Italy. It is 25 kilometres from Ragusa, and 308 kilometres from Palermo. Alongside seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it has been listed as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites.
Following a catastrophic earthquake in 1693, much of the town was rebuilt in the Sicilian baroque style, which today gives the town the elegant appearance which draws many tourists to visit it.
The city is also frequently used as a film set, most recently for Marco Bellocchio's Il regista dei matrimoni and is popular in Italy as the home of Il Commissario Montalbano, the popular television series broadcast by RAI.
The city is also notable for its religious parades which includes "Presepe" (nativity scenes) enacted in the caves surrounding the city at Christmas time. These caves, known as the Chiarafura caves, were dug out in the tuff cliffs, and some were inhabited by the local poor as recently as 1958.
At Easter, the city celebrates with the "Uomo Vivo" parade which involves a long religious procession through the city. A decorated horse parade takes place in March, from Scicli to the neighbouring town of Donnalucata. The most spectacular religious festival, the A Maronna i Milici occurs in May, commemorating the appearance of the Madonna on a white horse holding aloft a sword. This encouraged the Christian Normans to defeat the Saracens in 1091.
The economy of the city is mostly agricultural, and the area is renowned for its many greenhouses producing the primizie ("early fruits") that are exported all over Italy.
The city plays host to an annual road running race, Memorial Peppe Greco, which traces its route through the city centre.