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.

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

From International Gothic to present day

Feast days

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

Wonderful quick decorations

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

A colourful floor

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The interior and its masterpieces

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

One city, three sites

The theatre of taste

The colours of the cathedral

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Many owners, one palace

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

The chocolate of Modica

A hall for the feasts

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The church of Carmine

The Staircase of Angels

The wall comes to life

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A prominent church

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

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

The Burgos crucifix

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

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

An eagle-shaped city

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

A feast only for Scicli

Connections with other UNESCO sites

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

A majestic and luminous church

A miniature city

Some prestigious works

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

Prominent façade

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

A triumph of colour

A half-Baroque church

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

A long reconstruction

Feasting in Palazzolo

The façade used as a puppet theatre

The Maiolica of the staircase

Discovering the mother church

A small room with a golden entrance

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

A symbol for the town

The disastrous earthquake

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Norman apses

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

The internal colours

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

The two churches

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

New roads for Catania

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

Limestone, the colour of harmony

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

One city, two sites

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

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

Searching for colour

The Baroque town by the sea

A city in colour

A museum to save a tradition

A square as the heart of the city

A talking palace

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

The city of museums

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

Modica, a city with ancient origins

Two illustrious patron saints

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

A new site for a new city

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

Some masterpieces

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

Between white and black

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A new site for a new church

A Nobel Prize in Modica