The church’s architecture consists of different styles and construction phases. Evidences, indeed, confirm the presence of a Christian temple dedicated to San Tommaso Apostolo in the fifteenth century. Today, what remains of that temple is the entrance portal located at the external flank of the current church. The Gothic style portal is adorned with carvings depicting scenes from the life and the martyrdom of the saint. The church had been firstly rebuilt during the second half of the XVII century, but it was rebuilt again after the 1693 earthquake.
It is the first church you meet walking along the cave of Santa Maria La Nova. The building is located within an ancient urban space which has been enduring over the centuries.
The church lies on a base paved with old limestone flagstones and it is put on a raised-up position compared to the road level.
This is the only church in Scicli with an isolated bell tower which is not recessed into the walls. The bell tower ends with a spire adorned with iridescent tiles.
The façade, wide and flat, reflects a classical style. The central portal bears the Latin expression “Patron civitatis”, a gift of king Philip IV in 1645.
The interior has a basilica plan and three naves divided by low and heavy pillars. The floor has geometric and floral motifs on it, made entirely with local white limestone and black pitchstone.
Stylistically, the interior is divided into two parts: the naves and the choir area. The whole choir area is decorated with pink and light green eighteenth-century stucco.
On the sides visitors can see three chapels with barrel vaults.
The apse is semi-circular, covered by a lowered dome.
The back-wall of the main altar is covered by a canvas of unknown origin. It depicts Christ with the souls in purgatory and it probably dates back to the second half of the seventeenth century. The side chapels house two valuable wooden statues: The Flagellation of Christ, and Christ with his hands tied.
Progetto finanziato con risorse di cui al Progetto d'Eccellenza "Culto e cultura - Itinerari di turismo religioso" di cui alla L- 296/2006 art. 1 c. 1228.
TOURIST PACKAGE CONTRACT (Aut. Regione Sicilia N.3743/S. 7 Tur del 22.02.2017)