Cuba di Milazzo

The ruins of contrada Masseria now lie within a large shopping centre complex. Of the monastic complex, only the sacred building has survived to the present day. It is a singular cubic construction. The only existing room is accessed through a segmental entrance located along the southern wall. The interior is lit by two square windows placed along the eastern and western walls. Both openings appear to date from no earlier than the 16th century.

Although it is probable that all of the architectural and pictorial decoration has been lost over the centuries due to the numerous reconstructions and readaptations, it is also true that the cubic mass of the Milazzese cube conveys a sensation of extreme austerity and simplicity that other Sicilian cubes do not. With regard to dating, one cannot ignore what Freshfield hypothesised for the Malvagna, Maccari and Santa Teresa cubes in 1918. In fact, he considered, for purely historical reasons, that these structures could be dated between the 7th century AD and the 9th/10th century AD, i.e. between the complete Greekisation of the island and the Islamic conquest. Some of these structures survived the Arab conquest also thanks to their small size and played an important role in the reform that affected Greek monasticism during the Norman Kingdom of Sicily.