197. Raffaele Leone (1897-1981)

Engineer, architect and publicist born in Riposto, Leone was one of the most important intellectuals of the city of Catania and national vice president of the Order of Architects. After military service (World War I), Leone graduated in Civil Engineering (1922) and in 1929 he founded the Union of Architects of Sicily, of which he became secretary.

Beginning in 1926 and for about fifty years, he was the architect of the cathedral of Catania. His restoration of the Cathedral of Catania (which ended in 1958) had national resonance. Leone unearthed the Norman coffins, the chapel of the Madonna and the original transept. Among his most significant works, is the monument to Giuseppe Benedetto Dusmet, the “stadium of twenty thousand” in Catania (opened on 28 November of 1937 and later baptized as Cibali stadium), the football ground of Syracuse, the churches and the institute of St. Francis de Sales and Santa Maria delle Salette in Catania, the parish of St. Anne in Caltagirone, various churches and institutions in Riesi, Caltanissetta and Mazzarino. He designed also the so-called “croce-lampada” of the basilica of San Pietro in Riposto and decoration of the right aisle of the basilica itself.

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