Collegio dei Gesuiti, Mazara del Vallo

#4 of 7 in Historic Sites in Mazara del Vallo
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
Collegio dei Gesuiti is located in Mazara del Vallo. Using our international travel planner, Mazara del Vallo attractions like Collegio dei Gesuiti can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Collegio dei Gesuiti reviews

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  • Nice place to stop and have a quick view while walking to Navaro del Vallo . Nearby the kathedrale. It takes 5-10 min . to see .  more »
  • There a few ruins of a church that are more evocative. But you must linger in Mazarza until sunset to see them wonderfully illuminated. You'll probably have it all to yourself. Just lovely.  more »
  • It’s the busy fishing port that gave Mazara del Vallo a place on the map and unless you spend a few languid hours poking around the old fleet of colourful trawlers clogging the harbour, you’ll never get the true feel of Mazara’s trapped-in-a-time-wrap atmosphere. Yes, each activity here seems to be an endeavour that happened a century ago: check out the lively and noisy fish market where the daily night catch is displayed on the pier at the crack of dawn. Fish, alive and kicking make the last attempt at freedom; clams, half-open close their shells on touch while crawling octopuses struggle to hole up from view. The language you hear is itself an oddity: a mix of Sicilian dialect and Tunisian Arabic, nowhere else spoken or understood. But Mazara is much more than a mere fishing port and a fish market. The old town boasts a good number of interesting relics and architectural gems, some of which date back to the Arabic and subsequent Norman colonization era of the city. These are for the most part concentrated around the remodelled Norman Duomo and the neighbouring Piazza del Plebiscito. On this graceful square, right in front of the Museo del Satiro stands what is perhaps the finest specimen of a medieval building in Mazara. This is the former Jesuit College, a palatial 15th-century building that saw generations of students attending lectures and holing in for the night in one of the institution’s dormitories. Meticulously restored, the building is now a showcase of medieval Sicilian Baroque where permanent exhibitions of excavated material rub shoulders with religious artifacts collected from various churches and private homes in the city. On entering the doorway, itself an exhibition piece of elaborate bas-reliefs sculpted out artistically in the masonry, one is confronted by a gem of a courtyard renovated to its original finesse and distinctive details. Fringed by a graceful porticoed passageway, it is swathed in lacy Baroque decor, the capitals at the head of the supporting columns being graced with Old Testament scenes carved out of the stonework. Take the steps to the first-floor loggia where on a clear day, the decorative stonework becomes bathed in golden sunlight turning the building into a monumental sculpture gallery. One corner room on the ground floor (left as you enter) should on no account be missed. It is a storehouse of engravings, paintings, ceramics, drawings and statuary created by Sicily’s best artists. Every item on show is well captioned in Italian and English. Nearby, also on Piazza del Plebiscito stands the ruined Church of Sant’Ignazio, a small rotunda that lost its cupola and most of its mural decor ages ago. But the unique design of the building and the collection of surviving artifacts (some wall frescoes, free-standing pilasters, two altarpieces and lots of marble) render it one of Mazara’s top attractions.
  • Beautiful and evocative photographic exhibition at the Jesuit college in one of the halls, beautiful the case with the shells
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