Noto | 📷 Maximilian Nardo @maxlfie

When an earthquake leveled Noto on 11 January 1693, architects immediately set to work rebuilding the won. The Sicilian Baroque, a flamboyantly ornamental architectural style, was in full flower, and Noto was a blank canvas on which to show it off. Today this is the finest Baroque town in Sicily, with magnificently restored churches and palaces. Corso Vittorio Emanuele and the central Piazza del Municipio are fantasies of curving staircases, elaborate balconies and porticos, and richly detailed facades. The grandest mansion is the restored Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, with wonderfully ornate balconies and an elaborate interior with frescoed walls and ceilings.
Looking at the Duomo atop a dramatic staircase and the heavily colonnaded Municipal, it’s hard to believe Noto is built of solid stone, albeit a soft local stone.

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