In Sicily, Renovating a Cave


Modic, Italy — Amid the fabled 100 churches that line the sun-cracked streets of this Sicilian city, the New York architects William Brockschmidt and Richard Dragisic found a second home.

By modern standards the property is no ordinary dwelling. It includes a centuries-old cave in the area’s volcanic rock that once was a place of worship and may have even been used as a tomb. The couple does not know exactly when the cave first became a living area but “the caves of Modica have been inhabited as troglodyte dwellings since the time of the Sikels,” Mr. Brockschmidt said, referring to some of the earliest inhabitants who gave the island its name.