Sinatra’s Open Gallery and De Sica’s last movie
Vittorio De Sica chose Ispica – known as Spaccaforno until 1935 – to film part of his last movie, which reached cinemas just a few months before his death in 1974.
He directed the wonderful Sophia Loren in the role of Adriana, the leading character in Luigi Pirandello’s “The Voyage”. Inspired by the novella, De Sica shot the movie of the same name in Noto, Rome, Naples, Venice, Milan, Palermo and, of course, this Sicilian town in the province of Ragusa. Here, he filmed scenes between the Loggiato (open gallery) and the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, both designed by Noto-born architect Vincenzo Sinatra in the first half of the 1700s.
The Rococo structure of the Loggiato has twenty-six openings along a semi-elliptic shape, modeled on the colonnades Bernini designed for Saint Peter’s in Rome, and extends in front of the late-Baroque Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, which was consecrated in 1724.
The complex, including the church and open gallery, is a unique architectural monument in all of Sicily – as De Sica and so many visitors before and after him certainly realized.