Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily)

In June 2002, during the 26th session of the International Scientific Committee, the UNESCO registration of the Val di Noto area in the World Heritage List took place in Budapest.

The municipalities of the Val Di Noto, included in the list, are eight and wind along the three provinces of Catania, Ragusa and Syracuse: Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Scicli, Modica, Ragusa, Militello Val Di Catania, Caltagirone, Catania.

The property as a whole has been called: “The Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto (South-Eastern Sicily).”

Geographical coordinates: N36 53 35.5 E15 4 8.1
Inscribed property area: 113 ha

Criteria for the assessment of Outstanding Universal Value

The Committee decided to register the Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto on the World Heritage List on the basis of criteria: (I) - (II) - (IV) - (V).

Criterion I: to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius;

“This group of towns in the South-East of Sicily provides a remarkable testimony of the exuberant genius of late Baroque art and architecture.”

Criterion II: to exhibit an important interchange of human values, over a span of time or within a cultural area of the world, on developments in architecture or technology, monumental arts, town-planning or landscape design.

“The cities of the Val di Noto represent the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe.”

Criterion IV: to be an outstanding example of a type of building, architectural or technological ensemble or landscape which illustrates (a) significant stage(s) in human history.

“The outstanding quality of art and architecture of the late Baroque of the Val di Noto place it in a geographical and chronological homogeneity, as well as its wealth is the result of the earthquake in this area in ​​1693.”

Criterion V: to be an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement, land-use, or sea-use which is representative of a culture (or cultures), or human interaction with the environment especially when it has become vulnerable under the impact of irreversible change.

“The eight towns of South-Eastern Sicily that have presented this request are an example of urban planning in this area perpetually at risk of earthquakes and eruptions by Etna.”

Declaration of Outstanding Universal Value and Justification for Inscription

“The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building”.

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