Updated: Apr 20, 2021
It sits in a gorge just a few miles from the long sandy beaches of Sampieri and Donnalucata and is overlooked by a towering rocky mass on which the Church of San Matteo sits. The town shares much of its history with the other UNESCO Heritage Site towns of the Val di Noto, most specifically the fateful earthquake of 1693, during which over 3,000 of the town’s population died. Scicli, like the towns in the area, was totally rebuilt in pure Sicilian Baroque style. Today, it is a joy to wander round. Scicli’s history, of course, long predates 1693, and it is thought to have taken its name from its founders, the Sicels, one of the three main tribes that inhabited Sicily before the arrival of the Greek colonists. Like the rest of the island, it was passed from one invading conqueror to another, reaching its economic and cultural peak during the Arab and Norman dominations. Today, Scicli is renowned for its many greenhouses producing the "early fruits" that are exported all over Italy!