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.
Noto is on two levels, an upper part on the plateau and a lower, newer part on the slope below. The latter accommodates the buildings of the nobility and the religious complexes of the 18th century, the topography, town plan and architecture combining to create a spectacular ‘Baroque stage set’. It includes nine religious complexes and numerous buildings.