THE SICILIAN LAND
Baroque Sicily expresses its maximum splendor in the south-eastern area of the island. Here there are a large number of small towns which are a shining example of what was the expression of the artistic and cultural current that began in the seventeenth century. The love for architectural decorations exploded in an indefinite number of buildings, especially religious ones, characterized by their rich and elaborate structures. But why does this part of Sicily have a particular charm? In 1693 a tremendous earthquake devastated the Val di Noto, destroying 45 inhabited centers and decimating the population: an estimated 60,000 victims, one of the worst earthquakes in European history. Noto herself was totally razed; Catania lost 16,000 of its 20,000 inhabitants. These are just a few examples to give an idea of the enormity of the catastrophe.
The earthquake in Val di Noto was a tragedy of immense proportions, but it was also the beginning of a new era. The reconstruction work started immediately, and while the poor piled up the stones to rebuild their houses, the aristocracy competed to build the most beautiful palace as a sign of its social affirmation. What resulted was a building orgy that led to the construction of private villas, palaces and churches (many members of religious organizations were also aristocrats). The architects and artists who took care of the construction of the various buildings gave vent to all their ambitions, and while new buildings arose, other old ones (as in Palermo) adapted to the new taste. Over time, the Sicilian Baroque reached full artistic maturity, detaching itself from the original current and distinguishing itself for the joy and richness of its creations. These had their maximum expression in the late Baroque cities of the Val di Noto which all became part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
AVOLA E RISERVA DI CAVAGRANDE
SCICLI E PUNTA SECCA
SIRACUSA E ORTIGIA