itinerario 11


The Sinatra loggia, which defines the square in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, is one of the most iconographic rococo-style buildings in the city of Ispica.

The eighteenth-century church of S. Maria Maggiore was built from scratch after the terrible earthquake of 1963 that shook Eastern Sicily as it felt the need for a place to house the simulacrum of the Santissimo Cristo alla Colonna, miraculously escaped the destruction of the old church dedicated “St. Maria della Cava”, which was located at the bottom of the valley in the south-eastern sub-terminal section of Cava d’Ispica, where there were also the ancient Spaccaforno and the castle of “Forza”.

The Loggiato was built in the mid-18th century to a design by the architect Vincenzo Sinatra, almost in parallel with the construction of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, taking its cue from the “Colonnato del Bernini” in Piazza San Pietro in Rome.

The structure of the loggia has 23 openings, interspersed with pilasters, which form an elegant and delicate diaphragm between the elevation and the unlimited horizon in front.

The construction of the loggia ended in 1749 and it was immediately used for the various ecclesiastical “fairs” concerning the Parish of Santa Maria Maggiore, while at the beginning of the century the loggias were closed and used as shops.

Often used as a backdrop not only in the episodes of Inspector Montalbano and the film adaptation of Andrea Camilleri’s novel “The Horse Move”, the Loggiato del Sinatra and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, taken together, represent a great monument of the incredible historical and cultural value as well as a place of great charm. Good walk!