Architect and theologian born in Trapani from a very modest family, at age fourteen Amico became sacristan for a church belonging to the Confraternity of the Souls of Purgatory. He trained alone, mostly studying in the library of the Jesuits. In 1705 he took holy orders and became priest of San Lorenzo, to later become the vicar general of the diocese.
Amico traveled widely throughout Sicily, taught himself mathematics, design and architecture, and received his doctoral degree. Appointed architect of the Senate of Trapani and engineer of the Heritage of the Kingdom of Sicily, he repaired in Palermo the foundations of many factories damaged by the 1726 earthquake, and in 1732 he was sent, in his capacity as an engineer of the Kingdom, to visit the fortresses and to restore them.
Amico published a treatise, “The practical Architect”, in two volumes (Palermo 1726-1750), and the historical Catechism of the Council of Trent (Palermo 1742) in which, after a brief introduction about all the councils, heresies and heretics from the time of the apostles to the Council of Trento, he speaks of all the popes, emperors and Catholic princes who supported it.
Among his architectural works: the column of the Immaculate in Piazza S. Domenico, the prospectus of the Church of St. Anne and the cathedral’s bell tower (destroyed) in Palermo; the prospect of the church of Purgatory (Suffrage), the Light church (destroyed in WWII), chapels of the Madonna of Trapani and the Sacrament (Cathedral), the facade and the dome of the Cathedral, and the remake of the temple of the Annunciation in Trapani; the reconstruction of the church of S. Oliva in Alcamo; the churches of St. Catherine and the Crucifix in Calatafimi; St Peter’s Church in Erice; the Carmelite church and the reconstruction of the church of Santa Maria della Grotta in Marsala; the facade of the Carmelite church in Licata.
1. Wikipedia, https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Biagio_Amico
2. Treccani, http://www.treccani.it/enciclopedia/giovanni-biagio-amico_(Dizionario_Biografico)/