Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto Palazzolo Acreide and Noto
Sicily | DESTINATION

Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto Palazzolo Acreide and Noto

96017 Noto SR, Italy





monumentality, drama and sophistication with these adjectives is always defined by the Baroque. Among the highest expressions of European Baroque are the Late 8 the city of Val di Noto in Sicily. The city of Caltagirone, Catania, Militello Val di Catania, Modica, Known, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli were almost completely destroyed in the earthquake of 1963. The terrible geological phenomenon but did not discourage the community who rebuilt the city with architectural and artistic achievements of the highest level. Sumptuous and elegant palaces alternate with imposing churches with carved facades and precious interiors, the interwoven urban plots according to a unique style to leave space shades of colors that vary according to the city that we are going to endorse. The dark gray color of Catania is, indeed, very different from the luminous color of Noto Miele this because of the different materials used for the construction. The Val di Noto is historically one of the three areas in which it was administratively divided Sicily in Arab-Norman period, and it includes the territories of the provinces of Siracusa and Ragusa, and most of the provinces of Catania, Enna and Caltanissetta. Many of the towns of Val di Noto were heavily affected by the earthquake of 1693 and some, completely destroyed, They were rebuilt in sites other than the original ones. The reconstruction work was the occasion for the flourishing of the baroque architecture of the late Sicilian School, who introduced great innovations in the design and construction of churches and palaces. Eight of the cities in the south-east of Sicily, namely Caltagirone, Catania, Militello in Val di Catania, Modica, Known, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli admirably represent the great work of reconstruction and have been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, such inimitable testimonies of Baroque.

Criteria for admission

Late Baroque city in the south-eastern Sicily, in their common feature, They have been shown to possess four of the six criteria for inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List: (i), (ii), (iv) e (v). The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, in fact, they provide a remarkable testimony to the exuberant genius of late Baroque art and architecture - criterion (i), represent the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe - criterion (ii), possess geographical and chronological homogeneity - criterion (iv), thanks to the exceptional quality of art and architecture reconstruction after the earthquake, represent an example of urban arrangement, in an area permanently at risk from earthquakes and eruptions from Etna - criterion (v).

History, art and culture

The history of Noto seems to have been marked from the beginning. The ancient Sicilian village located on the height of the Mendola, indeed, He was moved by Ducezio, Re Sicily, in a more easily defensible position on the upstream Alveria, which is the current Noto 12 kilometres. Neas, This is the name by which it was known in the greek period Noto, He ended early under the influence of Syracuse, first economic and military power of Ancient Greece. In the ancient sites are evidence of human settlement even older, dating back to the Bronze Age or Castellucciana. Of the greek-Roman period are the Gymnasium, the megalithic walls and the Roman Villa of Tellaro. networks, It is known as it was called after the submission to Rome, then employment Justinian, It was enriched with monuments, such as the Basilica of Eloro and the Citadel Trigona. The Arab invasion marked the fortification of the city that became Capovalle. In all subsequent periods, all'angioino by the Norman-Aragonese, the city continued to see growth of fortifications, up to the construction of the main tower of the castle Noto Antica. The earthquake 1693 marked forever the history of Noto. La distruzione devastante della città comportò lo spostamento del centro abitato e determinò la fortuna della stessa, who had the opportunity to be built from scratch, with full power of architects to design the entire urban structure of the city, according to modern baroque guidelines. The skill of the master builders and masons completed the work, realizing that beautiful "garden of stone" which still is astonishing. The Baroque Noto, Unlike other reality, It does not fit into a pre-existing context, and does not show nor stratifications different styles. Everything is contextual and harmonious. Each building, every square, each staircase is fully lowered into the global context, with a grandeur without breaks and a royalty without covetousness, making the perfect baroque city of Noto. acreage, the ancient Palazzolo Acreide, It was founded by Syracuse in 664 a.C., on the remains of a Sicilian settlement dating back to the twelfth century B.C.. The town thrived until the destruction that followed the Arab conquest. Solo nei primi anni del XIX secolo le campagne di scavi consentirono di localizzare l’antica Akrai, with its precious theater, situated on a natural slope, opportunamente preparato con pietrame a secco, on which rest, superimposing, the blocks of the tiers. The auditorium, divided into nine sectors wedge, were twelve row of seats. The archaeological area of ​​Akrai, in addition to the site of the ancient polis, buy vaste due necropoli, that of "Pinita" and that of "Colle Orbo", latomia called the "Temples Ferali" and Santoni. These are twelve large paintings carved in the rock, which constitute a complex of high-relief figures, unique in the world, dedicated to the worship of the Magna Mater, ancient eastern practice, Also already spread to Syracuse in the fourth century BC. Even Palazzolo, as it is known, It was devastated by the earthquake of 1693; ma, Unlike Noto, It was rebuilt on the same site, for this reason, It has the typical stratification of the city, rebuilt after natural devastation. That did not stop to realize, in the spaces emptied from the rubble, monuments of particular value in line with the reconstructive architectural trends of the whole Val di Noto. In the Piazza del Popolo stands the imposing Church of San Sebastiano, with its spectacular staircase. The interior has three naves, with fine stucco and furnishings. The Town Hall, Palazzo Judica, Caruso Palace and Palazzo Zocco, are just some of the beautiful buildings that you admire daring facades, colonnades, and endless balconies supported by carved corbels, representing a wide range of grotesque figures. The Church of St. Paul, which it stands on the old Church of Santa Sofia, It is characterized by the Baroque façade which extends in height over three floors. Palazzolo Acreide, with its narrow, winding streets that, suddenly, They pour into large squares on which stand the imposing Baroque architecture, It represents the perfect synthesis between the medieval town and the town was rebuilt with modern late-seventeenth-century canons, at a full integration between the towns of Val di Noto Baroque.

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