Introduction to Val di Noto

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

In a report about the earthquake of 11 January 1693 the Bishop of Syracuse described a dramatic sight: “The sun as obscured, the air, blackened and turbid, so for the dark and bleeding clouds, as well as the dense dust of the buildings that exhaled from the fall of the structures.”
According to the chroniclers, the atmosphere seemed suspended in a seemingly endless succession of earthquake tremors, though the catastrophe in fact took place in the early afternoon of 11th January and lasted as long as the prayer “De Profundis” (Out of the depths).
The inhabitants of the Val di Noto ran to different shelters according to their social class: the rich reached their properties outside the walls, the poor in other places, from the woods to makeshift shelters, haystacks, and the various plains located far from the borders of the cities.
The clergy fled to more distant monasteries, and let’s not forget the chronicle’s description of the wandering nuns with nowhere to go.
The interruption of the secular rules of a strictly disciplined life, such as seclusion, created the image of a society broken apart by dramatic circumstances.

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

A stone garden

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

The works in the church

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

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

City and nature

The interior and works of art

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

A story of rebirth

The Church of St. Paul

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

A unifying project for the city of Catania

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The art of maiolica

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

One city, three sites

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

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

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The expansion of space and changing reality

The Church of St. Francis

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The casket of austerity under the great dome

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

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

Reconstruction after the earthquake

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The city palace

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The interior of the church: space and colour

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The Staircase of Angels

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

The Church of Madonna della Stella

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

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The city within the city

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

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

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The church and the college

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

The Palazzo dei due mori

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The Church of St. Benedict

Luminous sacred spaces

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The church and the monastery

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

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

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

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

A casket of precious works

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

The eagle-shaped city

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

Religious architecture

A heritage of votive works

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

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

The new roads of the city

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

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

The two churches

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The Franciscan convent

The palace, the town, the church

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

The articulated interior spaces

The Benedictines’ library

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

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

Art in the cathedral

St. Agatha and the candelore

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