Introduction to Val di Noto

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

After the tragic earthquake, the Val di Noto rose from its ashes like a phoenix to be reborn stronger and more beautiful than before.
The 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 ancient conceptions and initiating a momentous transformation.
Studies undertaken by young clerics in the rich Roman libraries, the interest in Rome, and observation of the typical architecture 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 combined the technical knowledge of local culture with the great dynamics of Roman Baroque.

Discovering the mother church

A half-Baroque church

One city, two sites

The cathedral of Sant’Agata: a lengthy reconstruction

The kitchen, a treasure chest of colours

San Nicolò l’Arena: an unfinished church

Feast days

A square as the heart of the city

A miniature city

St. Agatha and the giant candelabras

A museum to save a tradition

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

The chocolate of Modica

Fontana della Ninfa Zizza, public water in the town

A talking palace

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

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

Some prestigious works

An eagle-shaped city

Garden of Novices and the restorations by Giancarlo De Carlo

A symbol for the town

The Benedictine Monastery, one of the largest in Europe

A small room with a golden entrance

The city of museums

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

The senses tell the Cathedral of Sant’Agata

The internal colours

Norman apses

Modica, a city with ancient origins

The two churches

The façade used as a puppet theatre

Connections with other UNESCO sites

Corbels: a celebration of the Nicolaci family

The senses tell the story of the church of San Giuseppe

The interior and its masterpieces

The wall comes to life

The senses tell the story of the Church of the Annunciation

St. Sebastian, so much work!

A new palace for the La Rocca lords

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Militello, the story of an enlightened fiefdom

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

A triumph of colour

The Infiorata, a feast of colours and flowers

The character of Badia Sant’Agata

Many owners, one palace

The Staircase of Angels

From St. Thomas to St. Joseph

A new entrance for Santa Chiara (St. Claire)

The senses tell about Palazzo La Rocca

Two illustrious patron saints

A long reconstruction

New roads for Catania

The disastrous earthquake

The church of Carmine

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Sebastiano

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

The theatre of taste

The senses tell the story of the Church of San Benedetto

The Baroque town by the sea

A hall for the feasts

A new site for a new city

The Barresi-Branciforte lords

Places of knowledge: the Benedictines’ library

Prominent façade

A new site for a new church

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

The colours of the cathedral

Between white and black

A design by Vincenzo Sinatra

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

Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, who is the architect?

A feast only for Scicli

A city in colour

One city, three sites

The senses tell about Palazzo Nicolaci

Wonderful quick decorations

Some masterpieces

The Burgos crucifix

Feasting in Palazzolo

San Benedetto: a treasure reopened to the public

The Feast of San Giacomo (St. James)

The senses tell the story of the Church of Santa Chiara

Limestone, the colour of harmony

Baroque and the loss of equilibrium in the 16th century

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

A prominent church

The senses tell about Palazzo Napolino Tommasi Rosso

Searching for colour

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

The Maiolica of the staircase

The Supernatural dimension of the chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento

Rosario Gagliardi, the maestro of the Val di Noto

From International Gothic to present day

A majestic and luminous church

A colourful floor

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

A Nobel Prize in Modica

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