Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

Nature and architecture blend perfectly in Ragusa. Construction adapted to the environment in a surprising way. It was the result of careful planning involving many architects, engineers and foremen.
Each made a valuable contribution, though unfortunately it is not always possible to acknowledge everyone who worked on the project (such as the workers). Fortunately this is not the case for the “maestro of the Val di Noto”, Rosario Gagliardi.
He was perhaps the most creative 18th-century Sicilian architect, and was certainly the most innovative. He proposed a Baroque style that started with the basic rules then became something more beautiful and newer. His designs always took into account the context of the town, where it was and what was around it.foto facciata duomo This way, the buildings of the towns he built fit perfectly into the space.
He invented the tower façade, a façade that ended with a tower and bells, like the cathedral of San Giorgio (St. George) in Ragusa Ibla.
In his eyes, architecture was not only a useful discipline for constructing and designing a building, it also had to be able to arouse emotion. For this reason he placed sculptural decorations on the walls that added life and expression to his façades.
Unfortunately, not all of his ideas could be executed; Gagliardi had to be mindful of the economic factor and the money at his disposal.This was not, however, an obstacle to his imagination. Using his skill, the architect always managed to work and combine economic and aesthetic factors.

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

St. Sebastian, so much work!

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A long reconstruction

Discovering the mother church

The Baroque town by the sea

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

A colourful floor

Limestone, the colour of harmony

An eagle-shaped city

A museum to save a tradition

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

The disastrous earthquake

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

The church of Carmine

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A half-Baroque church

A new site for a new church

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

A talking palace

The Staircase of Angels

Some masterpieces

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

Modica, a city with ancient origins

Wonderful quick decorations

The colours of the cathedral

The theatre of taste

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

Many owners, one palace

The city of museums

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

A prominent church

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

Searching for colour

A new site for a new city

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The internal colours

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

Between white and black

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

One city, two sites

One city, three sites

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

The façade used as a puppet theatre

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A miniature city

A feast only for Scicli

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

The Maiolica of the staircase

From International Gothic to present day

A Nobel Prize in Modica

Feasting in Palazzolo

A symbol for the town

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

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

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

Feast days

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

New roads for Catania

A hall for the feasts

A city in colour

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

The interior and its masterpieces

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

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

Some prestigious works

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

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

Norman apses

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

The Burgos crucifix

The wall comes to life

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

Two illustrious patron saints

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

A square as the heart of the city

A triumph of colour

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

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

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

A small room with a golden entrance

A majestic and luminous church

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

The two churches

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Prominent façade

The chocolate of Modica