Introduction to Val di Noto

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Baroque is a particular cultural and artistic period that began in Rome in the early 17th century before spreading across Europe, in various forms, in the second half of the century. The negative connotation attributed to Baroque by 18th-century critics, who also coined the term, was aimed at artists who in their architecture and painting had moved away from the principles of harmony, beauty and functionality found in Renaissance culture.
The Enlightenment theorists and rationalists saw in the artistic experimentalism of the new aesthetic style bizarre, eccentric and fantastic elements in stark contrast with the harmony derived from the rigorous application of geometric and proportional principles used in the Renaissance. The 19th century brought a new appreciation for Baroque art and the end of its negative connotations. A more positive and diluted interpretation of the strong communicative position of Baroque spread from the end of the 19th century, a period that recognised the importance in art of a new perception of space, with its symbolic and scenographic force that was widely accepted by both aristocratic and less affluent classes.

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Badia di Sant’Agata (St. Agatha’s Abbey)

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Badia di Sant’Agata

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The church of San Nicolò l’Arena: the majesty of an unfinished beauty

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The church and the monastery

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The Duomo di San Giorgio (Cathedral of St. George)

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

Verticality and dynamism of the façade of the Church of San Carlo

The city within the city

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The interior of the church: space and colour

Geometry and wonder in civic architecture in the Baroque of the Val di Noto

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giuliano ai Crociferi

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

The Church of St. Francis

One city, three sites

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

A heritage of votive works

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

The expansion of space and changing reality

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Maria del Monte

The art of maiolica

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Carlo and the former Jesuit college

A casket of precious works

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The Church of St. Paul

The Benedictines’ library

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

St. Agatha and the candelore

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Giovanni Evangelista

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

City and nature

Art in the cathedral

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The works in the church

The senses tell the story of the Sanctuary Church of Santa Maria della Stella

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The Staircase of Angels

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Religious architecture

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

The Church of St. Benedict

The city palace

Barresi-Branciforte: the lords of the fiefdom and the modernisation of the town

The casket of austerity under the great dome

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The palace, the town, the church

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The Palazzo dei due mori

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The church and the college

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

The eagle-shaped city

Luminous sacred spaces

The freedom of worship and the Catholic Church’s role in the diffusion of Baroque

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and the Church of San Nicolò l’Arena

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The two churches

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The neo-Gothic seminary chapel: symbols, light and space

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

A story of rebirth

The Church of Madonna della Stella

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

The interior and works of art

A stone garden

The articulated interior spaces

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The Franciscan convent

The new roads of the city

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

Piazza Duomo, the elephant fountain, the heart of the city

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Views denied, views conquered: the power of the devout Benedictines

Altars, saints and sculptural works