Baroque towns of the Val di Noto
The beautiful Val di Noto, a Unesco World Heritage Site, with its artistic and architectural patrimony includes eight late-baroque towns in south-east Sicily, rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake by skilled local architects and sculptors following the artistic canons of the time. The greatest expression of Sicilian baroque, these fascinating towns are characterised by delightful streets, alley ways and steps leading up to aristocratic palaces and majestic churches. Noto, the stone garden, is considered the capital. Rebuilt after the earthquake 10 kilometres from the original site, the town is a masterpiece of the baroque. In Modica, the majestic Cathedral of St. George, the architectural symbol of the Val di Noto, dominates the picturesque town and the two valleys. Other baroque treasures can be found in the centres of Ragusa-Ibla, the city of the 50 churches, Scicli, an enchanting town forever in artistic and cultural ferment, Palazzolo Acreide, Caltagirone and Militello Val di Catania as well as the historic centre of Catania.