Sicilian Baroque – Alive and well in many towns in Sicily

Sicilian Baroque has a unique identity with typical curves, joyful masks, chubby male children naked figures sometimes with wings called putti, and flamboyance features.

The Sicilian Baroque is definitely noticeable in the following towns of Sicily

Noto is simply the apotheosis of Sicilian Baroque town planning and architecture. Noto was also destroyed in 1693 by the earthquake and rebuilt with a local limestone of a unique pink colour which under the sun offers an extraordinary pink-goldish reflection.

Along Corso Vittorio Emanuelle, the most representative baroque buildings stand proudly. It begins at the Porta Reale and extends to three piazzas each with its own church. The decorative details on the facades and curved balconies behind Corso Vittorio Emmanuelle stand proudly exhibiting the identity of Sicilian Baroque architecture at its best. Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata in Via Nicola is famous for its extraordinary balconies. The old town is proud of its beautiful Piazza Immacolata, Piazza Municipio, Via Cavour and Via Nicolaci di Villadorata with its grand balconies and famous facades of Sicilian Baroque.

Noto is a UNESCO Heritage site.

Sicilian Baroque - Noto
Sicilian Baroque – Noto

A historic town in the south-east of Sicily declared by UNESCO as one of the area’s listed baroque towns.

The Cathedral of San Giorgio is an impressive building. The Duomo di San Pietro with the figures of the twelve Apostles is another one. The Chiesa di San Giovanni Evangelista! And of course, the piazzas with the Sicilian Baroque buildings. These were the ones that have drawn our attention.

For those with a sweet tooth, Modica is also famous for its Aztec chocolates.

Modica, Sicily - Sicilian Baroque
Modica, Sicily

Situated on a hilltop in south-east Sicily, Ragusa did not escape the menace of the big earthquake in 1693. The old town is called Ragusa Ibla with many baroque buildings like the Duomo di San Giorgio, an impressive church with paintings and stained-glass windows, the church of San Giuseppe, Santa Maria delle Scale, Palazzo Consentini.

As you walk from the Duomo to the magnificent Giardino Ibleo you come across beautiful baroque buildings. Ragusa is a Baroque lounge.


Sits on top of three hills with stunning views, Caltagirone developed into a major destination, even though its buildings are understated in comparison to some of the other baroque cities, but still important. After the 1693 earthquake, the population rebuild the city in a clear baroque style.

Caltagirone, Sicily
Caltagirone, Sicily

Scicli is another UNESCO Heritage site in the Val di Noto. It is an enchanting town and after Noto illustrates proudly the baroque architecture of the area. Baroque features are recognized in detail on the churches and palazzi. Best way to enjoy them is walking along the paved Via Francesco Mormina Penna to the Palazzo Beneventano with grotesque masks, affluent decorations and fantastic figures. Also, Palazzo Fava is famous for its incredible balcony.

Scicli, Sicily
Scicli, Sicily

Palazzolo Acreide
The small town of Palazzolo Acreide is situated near Syracuse along the rocky slopes of Sicily’s Iblei mountains. Palazzo Acreide is a feudal origin town. The church of Annunciation with its astonishing decorated façade is a ‘must’ visit site. Also, Palazzo Indica. And Palazzo Garibaldi with its baroque balcony, the longest one in the Val di Noto sites of great interest.

Catania is an ancient port city on Sicily’s east coast, at the foot of Mountain Etna with its active volcano. Entirely rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake. Catania is a city with beautiful baroque buildings. Its impressive central square Piazza del Duomo features the Cathedral, Palazzo dell’ Elefante, the Elefant Fountains. Other sites of great interest are the Abbey of Saint Augusta, Palazzo Biscari, the Basilica della Collegiata and the Benedictine Monastery of San Nicolo l’ Arena.

Catania, Sicily
Catania, Sicily

Militello in Val de Catania
This beautiful town attracts the visitor with the charm of an exceptional monuments route. One of Sicily’s baroque sites included in the UNESCO World Heritage list. After the 1693 earthquake, dozens of palaces and churches were rebuilt some of them with unforeseen treasures as the Church of San Benedetto, previous Abbey with grand furnishings and marble altars, in Piazza del Municipio the 3rd most important Square in Sicily.

Walking along Corso Umberto, we come across Chiesa Madre San Nicolo-SS Salvatore, a powerful example of Baroque architecture with its façade, bell tower and dome. In the interior beautiful paintings and stuccos, the statue of Bagnasco, and in the crypts below is the Museum of Sacred Art. Another notable site is the Madonna della Catena Oratory an elegant church with thirteen statues in stucco and gold dedicated to Virgin Mary of Sicily. The Sanctuary of Madonna della Stella important works in glazed ceramics are kept.

Militello in Val di Catania, Sicily
Militello in Val di Catania, Sicily