The Byzantine Cube of Santa Domenica (and Malvagna)
This is an exceptional small Chapel built of lava stone (photo) and bricks in the sixth – seventh centuries. It is from the middle of the Byzantine
era as evidenced by the layout which is a Greek cross with a characteristic Moorish dome, 3 apses and a very clear near eastern style. Until 50 years ago, sheep roamed inside but it has now been rescued from further decay and one can find and enjoy it in the middle of the vineyards of Castiglione di Sicilia. Alongside this chapel runs the Alcantara River where the Arabs tried to breed crocodiles!
This structure, that pops up suddenly in the countryside, is really like a mirage, but it is truly one of the hidden masterpieces of Sicilian archeology, if off the beaten path for tourists and inhabitants alike.
A few steps from Castiglione di Sicilia one finds Malvagna, and in that bit of countryside, one finds a similar structure.