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Located in south-eastern part of Sicily, the Val di Noto area was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2002 for its splendid late Baroque towns, including Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli. Dating back to the Middle Ages, they were rebuilt after the catastrophic earthquake of 1693 with that period’s main characteristics: their architecture, urban planning and palace decoration represent the highest expression and the end of the Baroque style in Europe. Ragusa, for example, like Palazzolo and Modica, has two different town centres, one rebuilt from scratch after 1693 and the other rebuilt around the “città nuova”. In particular, the town of Modica is characterized by its old center perched on a hill and the new one built in the valley. Caltagirone, too, has a rich architecture and beautiful facades such as the Corte Capitanale, the Museo Civico and the churches of Santa Maria del Monte and San Giacomo Apostolo. The town of Noto is also rebuilt on two levels on a completely new site. The most recent part offers spectacular views of Baroque buildings and streets, palaces of the nobility such as Palazzo Ducezio, and religious complexes such as the Cathedral of San Nicolò. Also rebuilt from scratch is the city of Catania, a true late Baroque jewel, with the enchanting Piazza del Duomo and the beautiful Via dei Crociferi. Finally, the last pearl of the late Baroque in the Val di Noto is Scicli, a town characterized by churches and patrician villas of great artistic value, which you cannot miss.
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