Val di Noto
Val di Noto is the territory of eastern Sicily which geographically corresponds to the southern tip of the island, located between the provinces of Ragusa , Syracuse and part of the provinces of Catania and Caltanissetta . Among all the cities of the Val di Noto, the municipalities of Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania, Catania , Modica, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Ragusa and Scicli in 2002 entered the UNESCO World Heritage List thanks to the Sicilian Baroque. . The historic centers of the municipalities of Acireale in the province of Catania, Ispica in the province of Ragusa and Mazzarino in the province of Caltanissetta are also being added.
Note that "Val" in this case does not stand for "Valle" but for Vallo , the name of the administrative units into which Sicily was divided in the Arab-Norman period: together with the Val di Noto there were the Val di Mazara and the Val Demone, each ruled by different rulers.
The peculiarity of this common "identity" for the cities derives above all from the admirable reconstruction that took place following the earthquake of the Val di Noto in 1693. There are in fact examples of late Baroque art and architecture of which they constitute a moment of synthesis, presenting notable characteristics of urban and architectural homogeneity.
Given these characteristics, the circuit of the cities of the Val di Noto has been registered in the UNESCO register. This important result is causing a positive economic impact in the entire area, in the face of an increase in tourist numbers in the area and the creation of multiple accommodation facilities.
The entry among the World Heritage Sites is dated 2002. The UNESCO website gives the four reasons that led to the inclusion of the Val di Noto among the most important sites in the world:
They are an exceptional testimony of the art and architecture of the late Baroque;
They represent the culmination and the last flowering of the European Baroque;
The quality of this heritage is also highlighted by the homogeneity caused by the contemporary reconstruction of the cities;
The eight cities are in permanent risk due to the earthquakes and eruptions of Etna.