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Stadio Dèi Palici

Stadio Dèi Palici is a stadium project by Angelo Spampinato, architect and one of the authors of World Stadiums.

South-East view

The Stadio Dèi Palici, with a 33 765 seating capacity, is a stadium proposal for the city of Catania, Sicily, Italy. The project is located in the southern outskirts of the city in an industrial zone called Pantano d'Arci.

South-West view

The process through which the project is born originates from four distinct hypotheses:

1. The historical and architectural reference to the ancient Greek theatres, characterized by the logical and spacial articulation on the cavea-orchestra-scena sequence and the integration with natural elements.

2. The research towards enhanced security conditions through architectural concepts.

3. The integration of seats for disabled people among the regular ones, avoiding the creation of reserved and isolated sectors.

4. The harmonization with the location: the stadium needs to represent the city of Catania, respecting its identity.

General plan

The stadium recalls the gods Palici myth, set by the greek author of tragedies Eschilo in the current stadium project's zone and told as the result of the "Etnee" tragedy. It was played for the first time in the Greek theatre of Siracusa (not far from Catania) in 468 b.C.

Internal view from South-East

The Palici were twin sons of Zeus and the nymph Talìa, she in order to escape the persecution of the extremely jealous Era, Zeus' wife, had Zeus bury her under the earth. And one day, not far from the river Simeto, the twins were seen being born from the earth and once more were given birth by the nymph. The name Palici was given because in Greek the words "pàlin ikèsthai" mean "to be born twice", namely from Talìa and the earth. The twins were immediately counted among the gods, by Zeus' will they were made devene to protect the vulcanic zone around the Catania plain.


The stadium project represents the moment in which the twins, while emerging from the perfectly flat land where they had been conceived, started to move under the ground keeping a fetal position, generating a bradyseism* and creating a basin adapting the space in such a way that it creates the necessary conditions to lay down the stands of the stadium as in a Greek theatre. Therefore, the Palici twins, before emerging completely, present the city of Catania the new stadium that they uphold.


The stands of the stadium adapt to the lay of the land declivity generated by the under ground movement of the twins in the same way in which a Greek theatre is formed by a natural declivity.

North-West view

This makes the stadium look similar to two opposing Greek theatres in front of the cavea, with one orchestra in common (the playing field, the place of performances) and the opposing scenas open towards nature and its elements: one side open to the mouth of the river Simeto - the water and the air - and the other side open to the volcano Etna - the land and the fire -.

South-East elevation

* Bradyseism is the gradual uplift (positive bradyseism) or descent (negative bradyseism) of part of the Earth's surface caused by the filling or emptying of an underground magma chamber. It can last several years and is normally accompanied by thousands of small tremors and sometimes larger earthquakes or a volcanic eruption.

South Elevation
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