Introduction to Val di Noto

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium 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.
18th-century theorists saw and recognised in Baroque art bizarre, eccentric and fantastic elements in stark contrast with the harmony derived from the rigorous application of geometric, proportional principles used in the Renaissance.
Baroque was considered in a more positive light 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 the aristocratic and less affluent classes.

The Maiolica of the staircase

The colours of the cathedral

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The wall comes to life

A feast only for Scicli

Some masterpieces

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

A triumph of colour

Modica, a city with ancient origins

A city in colour

From International Gothic to present day

The Burgos crucifix

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

The internal colours

New roads for Catania

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The chocolate of Modica

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Feast days

The senses tell the Benedictine Monastery and San NicoIò l’Arena

The two churches

The Baroque town by the sea

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

Prominent façade

A hall for the feasts

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

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

Two illustrious patron saints

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Many owners, one palace

An eagle-shaped city

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

The role of the religious orders in rebuilding the Val di Noto

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A half-Baroque church

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

The disastrous earthquake

A talking palace

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

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

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The interior and its masterpieces

Connections with other UNESCO sites

One city, two sites

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

One city, three sites

Norman apses

A prominent church

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

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

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The city of museums

The Staircase of Angels

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Feasting in Palazzolo

A museum to save a tradition

The theatre of taste

From the contrast of the exterior to the internal jubilation of colours

A miniature city

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

The senses tell the Mother Church of San Nicolò and of the Santissimo Salvatore

A small room with a golden entrance

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

A square as the heart of the city

A colourful floor

A symbol for the town

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

The senses tell the story of the church of Santa Maria del Carmelo

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

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

A new site for a new church

Between white and black

Freedom of worship and the role of the Catholic Church in the diffusion of Baroque

Some prestigious works

A new site for a new city

Searching for colour

Wonderful quick decorations

The church of Carmine

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A majestic and luminous church

Discovering the mother church

Church of San Giuliano (St. Julian) on Via dei Crociferi: reconstruction

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giovanni Battista

A long reconstruction