<< Scicli sorge all'incrocio di tre valloni, con case da ogni parte su per i dirupi, una grande piazza in basso a cavallo di una fiumara, e antichi fabbricati ecclesiastici che coronano in più punti, come acropoli barocche, il semicerchio delle altitudini.
E' a pochi chilometri da Modica, nell'estremità sud-orientale dell'isola: e chi vi arriva dall'interno se la trova d'un tratto ai piedi, festosa di tetti ammucchiati,di gazze ladre, di scampanii; mentre chi vi arriva venendo dal non lontano litorale la scorge che si annida con diecimila finestre nere in seno a tutta l'altezza della montagna, tra fili serpeggianti di fumo e qua e là il bagliore d'un vetro aperto o chiuso e di colpo, contro il sole >>. L'antica Siclis, che prese il nome dai Siculi, così viene descritta dal grande Elio Vittorini, che aggiunse:
<< Forse la più bella di tutte le città del mondo. E la gente è contenta nelle città che sono belle >>.
Scicli is a few step from Donnalucata.
At 7 km you reach the historic center of this baroque jewel and its sites Unesco Palazzo Beneventano, Via Mormino Penna, Church of Santa Teresa, Church of San Giovanni Evangelista, Church of San Michele Arcangelo.
Via Mormino Penna is one of the most beautiful streets in Sicily. a sequence of churches and baroque palaces that open up like theatrical scenes. Behind, on a rock, the church of San Matteo, the ancient Mother Church of Scicli.
Located on the southern part of the hill of San Matteo Chiafura develops, one of the oldest districts of the city of Scicli, with its hundreds of black mouths.
Inhabited district until the 50s, it has remote origins. It is thought that scattered dwellings date back to the Neolithic period although it was discovered that most of them belong to the Byzantine era.
Following the insecurity caused by the collapse of the Roman Empire, the populations began to climb towards the fortified fortress, already built on the hill of San Matteo.
Most of the houses are located on the less steep side, the southern one: here, taking advantage of the great ability to quarry the stone, the first nucleus of cave houses will be created under the stronghold of the city.
Following the earthquake of 1693 the castle was destroyed. In 1874 the Matrix was transferred to the Church of Sant'Ignazio in the new city and this decreed the end and the definitive abandonment of the hill, even if several thousand people continued to dig their simple houses and to get inside, the spaces and the furnishings that served for everyday life. In the nineteenth century, the end of the problem of incursions caused by the Second World War and the demographic increase caused the progressive expansion towards the valley floor.
The western part, dominated by the "Castiddazzu", is characterized by terraces along its entire height.
Most of the caves consist of one or two quadrangular rooms, of about 4 or 5 meters per side; some of them are carved into walls that directly face the street; others join the road through a courtyard in front. Part of these dwellings are located on two floors, connected by internal stairs, also carved into the rock.
Over the last two centuries there has been an enlargement of the houses through the integration of the caves with masonry built structures. The larger areas, in the various terraces, had to constitute the community space, the agora of the inhabited area, the center delegated to public life.