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.

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

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

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

St. Agatha and the candelore

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

The Staircase of Angels

Art in the cathedral

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The Palazzo dei due mori

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

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

The church and the monastery

Religious architecture

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

One city, three sites

The articulated interior spaces

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

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

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The works in the church

A story of rebirth

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

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

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

The two churches

A stone garden

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Church of Madonna della Stella

The Church of St. Francis

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

Reconstruction after the earthquake

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

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

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

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

The expansion of space and changing reality

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

City and nature

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

A heritage of votive works

The city within the city

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

Altars, saints and sculptural works

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The interior and works of art

The city palace

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

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The palace, the town, the church

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

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

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

The Church of St. Paul

Luminous sacred spaces

The Franciscan convent

The casket of austerity under the great dome

A casket of precious works

The interior of the church: space and colour

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

The art of maiolica

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

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The Church of St. Benedict

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

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

The Benedictines’ library

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

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

The church and the college

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

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

The new roads of the city

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

The eagle-shaped city

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