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Royal Chapel of Santa Venera

  • Duomo, 95024 Acireale CT, Italia
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The Reale Cappella di Santa Venera (Royal Chapel of Saint Venera) is a splendid jewel of Baroque art set in the noble and austere architecture of the cathedral of Acireale. Built between 1680 and 1697 thanks to the legacy of Troylo Saglimbene, it keeps the precious reliquary bust of the Saint realized in 1651 by the silversmith Mario D'Angelo from Messina. The walls, made dynamic by the twisted columns and valuable stuccoes of the Roman Girolamo Baragioli, are entirely frescoed by Antonio Filocamo from Messina. With grace and elegance all eighteenth-century, the paintings depict the Sermon and Martyrdom of Santa Venera in the side panels, the Glory of the Holy in the vault. In the time, the Real Chapel dilates its own semantic valence: more than a symbol, it becomes the “heart” of the cityà for antonomasia in which sediment centuries of faith, of art and of history sinceé è around the cult of the Saint Patron that builds and consolidates the’identityà citizen. In the half-light and silence that surrounds it, it is like a theophany. It is a magical place, where beauty breathes and lights up with unexpected flashes when the late daylight, penetrating from the gnomon of the vault, crosses the grand dial with the signs of the zodiac in polychrome marble of the sundial by C. F. Peters (1844). All’inside the Basilica Cathedral, from the prospectus in eclectic neo-medieval style, the work of Sebastiano Ittar and Ernesto Basile, a gallery of remarkable masters of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries: Antonio Catalano l’Antico, Giacinto Platania, Matteo Ragonisi and Pietro Paolo Vasta; while above the vault shines the sublime frescoes of Giuseppe Sciuti, completed in 1911.

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