Introduction to Val di Noto

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

Every desire for renewal hides a period of transition. Continuity and innovation interacted in Sicily, only reaching the most eloquent and authentic expression of Baroque in the late 1670s.
The widespread commitment of the religious orders to educate a modern generation of artists in the cultural and artistic knowledge of Baroque Rome was crucial in overcoming Late Renaissance notions still present in Sicilian architecture from the first half of the century.
Studies undertaken by young clerics in the rich Roman libraries and, above all, the interest that arose in Rome, the observation of the architectural characteristics of the Counter-Reformation, gave rise to a synthesis of figurative elements which set Sicilian Baroque in motion.
In Sicily, Roman artistic influences replaced Spanish cultural dependence.
By the hand of specialised workers, the new spirit of the era was inaugurated, not only in religious architecture but also in civic buildings, too.
Sicilian Baroque translated the positive synthesis between the technical knowledge of local culture and the monumental dynamics of continental Baroque.

The Staircase of Angels

The two churches

The church and the monastery

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

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

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

The works in the church

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

The Church of St. Paul

Religious architecture

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The articulated interior spaces

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

A stone garden

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

Art in the cathedral

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

The interior and works of art

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

A unifying project for the city of Catania

St. Agatha and the candelore

One city, three sites

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

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

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

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

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

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

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

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

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

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

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

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The Palazzo dei due mori

A casket of precious works

The new roads of the city

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

The palace, the town, the church

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The eagle-shaped city

Altars, saints and sculptural works

A story of rebirth

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The Franciscan convent

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The city palace

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

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

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

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

The Church of Madonna della Stella

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The Benedictines’ library

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The church and the college

Luminous sacred spaces

The casket of austerity under the great dome

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

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

The expansion of space and changing reality

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

The Church of St. Benedict

The city within the city

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The interior of the church: space and colour

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

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

The art of maiolica

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The Church of St. Francis

City and nature

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

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

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

A heritage of votive works