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Chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia
Ranked #14 of 121 things to do in Syracuse
Certificate of Excellence
Attraction details
London, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
103 reviews
70 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed 18 April 2013

Only reason for visiting this church is the Caravaggio and the wooden crosses. These have been taken from the other Santa Lucia in Siracusa, which is a shame. They should go back to their original home.

Visited April 2013
Thank Catherine E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Alexandria, Virginia
Level 6 Contributor
342 reviews
169 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 350 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 May 2012

Echoing what a previous reviewer stated, unless you read and comprehend Italian, this site is probably only worth a peek. Yes, there is a hole in the ground covered by glass before the altar that had no explanation. When I went, there were relics (bones) of what I assume were St. Lucy's; with the signage being in Italian, I wasn't sure. I also did not know which painting was Caravagio's and since one can't take photos inside the church, there was no way I can look this information up online later on. I'll probably eventually forget about what I saw.

Visited May 2012
Thank CCC_wanderlust
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
New York City, New York
Level 6 Contributor
109 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Got an education”
Reviewed 26 April 2012

So, full disclosure, my wife is Italian and I speak and read Italian. So, I get extra help during these visits understanding what it is that I'm seeing. That said, I'd never heard of Michelangelo Caravaggio, and I'm glad I got to see and learn about his work.

The church is nothing to write home about, and the hole in the ground near the altar wasn't explained. It was also hard to see down in there because of the reflection of the light from above. Also, the painting was a bit far away for me to truly appreciate the details. However, there is a big board in the back of the church (all in Italian) that gives a detailed explanation of the painting and of Michelangelo Caravaggio and his journeys in relation to the painting and also information about the restoration of this work. If you speak and read Italian, then this is a worthwhile visit. Otherwise, pop in for a look, but you probably won't understand much.

Visited April 2012
1 Thank martianwalrus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Pacific Palisades
Level 6 Contributor
98 reviews
56 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 54 helpful votes
“Worth the visit.”
Reviewed 23 December 2011

If I remember correctly, this is where you'll find the Carravagio. Check the hours that it is open.

Visited October 2011
1 Thank Friar4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warren, Massachusetts
Level 6 Contributor
1,110 reviews
673 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2,662 helpful votes
“An Unexpected Caravaggio Altarpiece”
Reviewed 16 June 2011

The Basilica of Santa Lucia of the Holy Sepulchre lies at the far end of the Piazza Duomo in the Ortygia section of Syracuse. The Saint was martyred on this site in 304 AD. The church retains the basic Norman plan of immense nave and with two side aisles.

One of the most notable features is an immense painting by Caravaggio depicting the Burial of Santa Lucia dating to 1608 that hangs over the main altar. The painting is a masterpiece with it's bold contrast of light and dark and composition dominated by two enormous figures hovering over the body of the Saint. It is interesting to note that Caravaggio came to Syracuse after excaping from prison in Malta. Why he fled to Syracuse is a mystery, though there may be a link between Fra Raffaele of Malta who was also Guardian of the Convent of the Church. The painting was just painstakingly restored to its originial beauty. No photos are allowed inside the church.

The sepulchre itself is next door, a large octagonal building dating to Norman times. A catacomb lies beneath the church and extends beneath the square. A large plaque in Italian lists many who are buried here. If I read it correctly, there are many family members of Santa Lucia interred there. Don't miss this church...it's pretty wonderful.

Visited March 2011
7 Thank redeco
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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