Modica, like other historical centers of Val di Noto, owes its particular urban configuration to the uncommon shape of the territory combined with the various phenomena of human presence. Many houses in the old part of the town, stacked next to each other, are often an extension of the ancient caves, occupied since prehistoric times. They were surveyed about 700 caves where people once lived, or otherwise engaged in some use.
The old town, lying on the sides of two valleys and the plains of the hills above, is a maze of small houses, narrow streets and long stairs, which recall the medieval map of the historical center, all wrapped around the spur of the Pizzo's hill , on which it rested the inaccessible Castle..
The churches usually do not overlook squares, but majestic and spectacular staircases modeled on the slopes of the hills. The prevailing style of the monuments is commonly identified as the late-baroque, but more specifically, with regard to Modica, we must speak of the Sicilian Baroque of south eastern Sicily, an element that has allowed the incorporation of the town in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
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