Those who come on holiday to Sicily do so to enjoy the sea, nature, good food. Not everyone knows, however, that the island hosts a quarter of the cultural heritage existing in Italy, much of which is in eastern Sicily, the cradle of Sicilian Baroque. This part of Sicily offers vacationers a complete experience with the opportunity to enjoy a unique artistic heritage together with the natural wonders that characterize the area.
Baroque architecture in Sicily, born in the seventeenth century, is distinguished by a more pronounced chromatic and scenographic sense, as well as by bright and exuberant decorativeness, with a precise and marked identity. The style came to life out of the post-earthquake reconstruction financed by nobility, the Church and religious orders.
Noto, a city that is a symbol of Sicilian Baroque, is famous all over the world and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. A walk through the historic center is a must. The Cathedral dedicated to San Nicolò, a jewel of 18th-century architecture, is a majestic example of the Baroque style of Sicily, placed at the top of a very scenic stairway. Also not to be missed is the Town Hall of Noto (Palazzo Ducezio, founder of the town), a wonderful aristocratic building that houses the fascinating Hall of Mirrors.
Ragusa is also an excellent example of Sicilian Baroque which boasts 18 Unesco heritage sites. Among the best known is the very important Church of San Giorgio di Ragusa, one of the most evocative, set among historic buildings in neoclassical and baroque style. The unusual location of the church with respect to the Piazza Duomo below allows visitors to admire its beauty in three dimensions.
Not to be missed, too, are the Palazzo Senatorio and the majestic Cathedral of Syracuse (built in late Baroque style on the remains of the ancient Temple of Athena), and the fascinating alleys of the island of Ortigia. Moving about a hundred kilometers away, in the capital of the Etna territory, it is possible to visit the imposing Cathedral of Catania and the famous Elephant Fountain in Piazza Duomo.
This portion of Sicily is truly a treasure chest to be discovered: let yourself be surprised by the beauty of Sicilian Baroque.