Introduction to Val di Noto

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

Baroque was born and developed in a historical period worn out by the conflicts between the Catholic Counter-Reformation and Protestantism that led to the Thirty Years’ War, a scene of blood and death in Europe.
With the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, freedom of worship was approved for the three main faiths (Protestant, Calvinist and Catholic), despite the fact that the major European powers involved in the conflict sought the undisputed dominance of one religion.
The Catholic Church had a decisive role in spreading Baroque, which was used as a propaganda tool against the rampant forms of Protestantism and heresy.
The strong scenographic impact and monumental dimension involved in all art forms from this period, interpreted the idea of centrality and greatness of spiritual power used to convince worshippers.

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

A heritage of votive works

The eagle-shaped city

The Church of Madonna della Stella

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

Virtuosity, decorations and altars

A compromise between Neoclassicism and Baroque

The church and the college

The senses tell the Church of San Michele

The interior and works of art

The Church of St. Paul

Altars, saints and sculptural works

Unusual iconographies: the Burgos crucifix

The interiors: diffused light and Byzantine relics

The new roads of the city

Baroque creativity: recurring themes

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

Scenography, lights and colours of the cathedral

The art of maiolica

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

Scicli, the city of Baroque scenery

The works in the church

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The casket of austerity under the great dome

The Church of St. Francis

The senses tell the Cathedral of San Giorgio

The senses tell of Palazzo della Cancelleria

The expansion of space and changing reality

The city within the city

The senses tell about Palazzo Beneventano

Baroque and the loss of balance in the 16th century

Religious architecture

The beginning of an authentic Baroque conception

Palazzo Zacco, a balance between sobriety and decoration

St. Agatha and the candelore

The Church of St. Mary of the Mountain

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Paolo

From the end of the world to rebirth from the rubble

The palace, the town, the church

The Church of St. John the Evangelist

Fountain of the Nymph Zizza: public water in the town

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

City and nature

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

The smallest Greek theatre in the world

Scenography and devotion for St. Agatha

The Antonino Uccello Birthplace Museum

The illusion of light and the decorative splendour

The church and the monastery

Palazzo della Cancelleria: from former stable to the Nicastro family

Expansion, spatiality and light in the church of San Domenico

The triumph of Baroque: expansion of spaces

San Domenico and Gagliardi’s work

Luminous sacred spaces

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

A casket of precious works

The Monte delle Prestanze in the new city layout

Madonna of the Militia: a singular warrior virgin

Majestic exteriors, grandiose interiors

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

The Church of St. Benedict

A new site for the church of San Giorgio

Expanded spaces, stucco and colourful lights

One city, three sites

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

The senses tell about Palazzo Ducezio

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

The Staircase of Angels

A stone garden

The senses tell the Church of San Domenico

Akrai and Syracuse: an unbreakable bond

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

The Infiorata of Noto, a modern tradition

The two churches

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

The Palazzo dei due mori

The senses tell about Palazzo Trigona

The city palace

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

The Madonna dei Conadomini and the art of devotion

The senses tell about Palazzo Zacco

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

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

Reconstruction after the earthquake

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

Art in the cathedral

Palazzo Trigona: a building with a complex shape

The Benedictines’ library

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

The articulated interior spaces

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

Palazzo Trigona di Canicarao

Militello: The story of an enlightened fiefdom

A unifying project for the city of Catania

The senses tell of the Cathedral of San Pietro

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

The Franciscan convent

The Church of St. Julian on Via dei Crociferi

The city of Modica, a balance between nature and urbanism

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

Rebirth and urban planning of the city of Noto

The dynamics of the Church of San Michele

The Monastery of the Benedictine nuns

The interior of the church: space and colour

A story of rebirth