Declared by UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002, together with he other towns located in Val di Noto, due to its late-Baroque style, Modica was the birthplace of the famous XIX century poet, Salvatore Quasimodo, who received the Nobel prize for literature in 1959.
The first human settlements date back to the Bronze Age; then historical sources maintain that a town called Motyka was inhabited by the Sikels. It was conquered by the Romans, Arabs and Normans and it was entitled county town by Pietro I of Aragon in the XII century.
After the earthquake in 1693 it was re-built in late-Baroque style: the Cathedral of San Giorgio is an excellent example of Sicilian Baroque style. The magnificent flight of 164 steps leads to the imposing façade, started in 1702 and finished in 1834. The church, with five aisles, is rich in monuments, such as "events from the Gospel and St. George's life", realized by Girolamo Aliprandi in 1513, also known as the Sicilian Raffaello.
Amongst the most important monuments we mention the church of S.Maria in Betlem, famous for its Norman portal, the church of S. Maria del Gesù (15th century) and the 18th century convent of the Padri Mercedari which house the Town Museum.