The Forefathers’ houses and its common spaces
The ancient fortified structure, today multifunction center, has got ten units with a reception , info point, lounges with school and educational workshops, wine bar, breakfast room, reading room and tea bar. Inside there is a museum “Murika, stories of stone” a cultural center and an information service bureau for tourists and visitors.
The old structure that once was presumably a fortress to protect pirates and Saracen has got 10 small houses, some of them come from ancient caves, with museum rooms, restored by natural and typical Sicilian materials.
The project has preserved the original spaces and the traces of their mixed use, through the ages, from military and shelter to that ritual and religious, until farming and domestic use.
The houses, with common areas and inside with the cisterns today finalized by SI Moutique as culture, tourism and hospitality facilities, are located at Consolo, the old neighborhood of Modica, gateway to the old town with an extreme rock characterization. A neighborhood that seems like a large terrace, a live stage with locust , pine and oleander trees, overlooking Passo Gatta and Fontana Grande, formed by high, dense and homogeneous houses in Calvario street with an old kiosk , a village with defensive characteristics, and in its bowels that are escape routes against possible dangers. The top sight is the bell tower of the St. Anthony of Padua’ Church.
And not far the complex 15 century Santa Maria del Gesù, the Church and Convent, survived the 1693 earthquake and jewel of the Sicilian art and finally the Castle of the Counts.
The houses come from ancient caves.
The caved houses, some fortified, require a planning that recognizes the uniqueness of this heritage.
Human use of these settlements was very comprehensible over the millennia: from the prehistoric civilization of the Bronze Age to religious communities, from folk wisdom to urban marginality.
The judgement of value on these soul places with their experience is really dialectic: from national disgrace of the 1950s of last century, a World Heritage Site today to pass on future generations.
In any case, places in which the caves were dug for residential purposes, with an ancestral calling.
The project carried out by Si-MoutiqueModica with the protection and the preservation and renovation of the old fortified house of Consolo, today the Forefathers’ have allowed us to do justice to the primordial essence of the stone cave, through choices of preservation, enhancement and reuse of the original spaces.
The architecture of these homes speaks about centuries of history, preserved and passed to posterity through the restoration work by its owners, restoration that has allowed the survival in the real visibility.
In these situations you can live and smell the past that rises from underground to the surface, where there were entrenched villages, early examples of permanent settlements, where the man developed the techniques of collecting water, today testified by the bell-shaped cisterns and safeguarded by channels drawn in the caves to feed the people. In these houses, stone and rock together with man, found an imaginative architect in the water, drawing as a great surprise a concealed world, no less extraordinary than the Baroque style, creating an environment of singular beauty, with its cavity, large and small, natural or artificial, it is a good witness of the history of the neighborhood Consolo and the inhabitants.
In every room one breathes air of the past. The houses form a frame to an arcade including courtyard typical of t ancient Modica.
The staff at the reception will welcome you in a small house paved by “cuticci”, once a house with essential space, today you can find some antique signs such as niches where two maps of Modica are located, one showing the ancient urban structure with its ancient neighborhoods and the most significant architectural signs; the other with the itineraries of identity: the ancient archaeological Modica, the late medieval Gothic Modica, the Baroque Modica, the Countryside and the Seaside.
Hall (the room of relax)
Located in an inner courtyard of the ancient fortress, next to the reception room, overlooking Consolo, now Roma street. The environment with a vaulted cellar in stone and lime, and a floor of stone in soft golden limestone, welcomes the guests during the processing of simple formalities, while they require information or choose routes or in moments of relaxation, familiarity and warmth in places of a past time.
It is allocated in the heart of the court, in an ancient, picturesque and scenic cave house, layered, with underground cavities, the most striking example of the recovery of a typical living environment of old Modica .
The environment is characterized by arches and vaulted ceilings, local stone, and tombs, signs of an ancestral environment.
Inside the multifunction room were created:
School handicraft workshops with household tools, artifacts, anecdotes, testimonies that illustrate a world of experience of centuries and manual creativity ; a work of anonymous protagonists often ignored by official history that have been patient witnesses of the collective identity.
The workshops refer to those trades (scuparu, cannizzaru, mastru re mura a siccu), Bufalino defined as “vagabond” activities performed in the open air with the sun, rain, and wind “.
The breakfast room
To consume the old recipes of the culinary tradition of the territory, in a unique and relaxed atmosphere
The cellar in the cistern
It offers guests and visitors a selection of foods and wines of the territory
The tea room
Located in a loft where the time stands still and where authenticity is the hostess. Ideal to take a break
Reading room with library
In a glass floor loft , animated by an esoteric light, you can consult the best editorial productions of Sicily in general, the South- east and especially the history of the County of Modica.
Murika, a widespread museum
A room used for a museum. At Modica in the Forefathers’ houses in an environment with arches and stone vaults,a room is reserved to the Museum “Murika, stories of stones”, an eco museum aimed in preserving the ancient ethnographic living and to the recovery and development of ‘identity places’. The aim is to celebrate rural communities of the County of Modica using as a main material the local stone, and achievements through it, walls, vaults, floors, artifacts, furnishings as well as the folklore, the fabrics, the furniture, the music of past times. A social duty of preservation and enhancement about the forms of popular culture. The aim of the owners is the integrity of historical buildings and surrounding landscape, the existence of a heritage to be preserved and brought out through the tourism.