Palazzo degli Studi, former Convent of the Jesuits, was built between 1610 and 1630, then renovated in the late nineteenth century. The College was annexed to the church of SS. Jesus and Mary (now called S. Maria del Soccorso ), whose baroque outline was rebuilt in 1714 and designed by Rosario Gagliardi. The Convent, having withstood the earthquake of 1693, determined the choice of the people of Modica not to rebuild the city in the bordering highlands. The whole building was built by the will of the countess of Modica Vittoria Colonna de Cabrera, daughter of admiral Marcantonio Colonna, the winner of the battle of Lepanto (1571).