Artists often described this charming town as one of the “most beautifully built towns in Europe.” Located at the foot of the Iblean Mountains and surrounded by Val di Noto, its magnificent Sicilian Baroque churches and structures earned it a UNESCO World Heritage Site distinction in 2002. You can hardly believe that this beautiful town was totally destroyed by a 1693 earthquake. It was rebuilt under the architectural and artistic legacies of Giovanni Battista Landolina, Rosario Gagliardi, Francesco Sortino, Cesar Brandi and others which made the town a picturesque Baroque town. The town has more than 30 Sicilian Baroque religious structures, the most notable of which are: Gagliardi’s Church of San Domenico, and the Church of San Carlo al Corso, and the Monastery of Santa Chiata which is the home of the 16th century art work Madonna with child. Notable palaces include the Vincenzo Sinatra designed Ducezio Palace which currently house the Town Hall and the neo classical frescoes by artist Antonio Mazza, Astuto Palace and the 18th century Villadorata Palace. Additionally, the town is also famous for its Sicilian wine and its pizzuta or almond.
The aristocratic street of Via Cavour runs parallel to Corso Vittorio Emanuele. The street is filled with magnificent buildings which include: the Palazzo Astuto with its handsome balconies and wrought iron railings and the Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao. Further on the left end of the street, the Palazzo Imprellizzeri can be found on Via Coffa and when you turn right to Via Sallicano will be on sight and will lead you to the Gagliardi designed Chiesa del Santissimo Crocefisso which is the home of Laurana’s Madonna della Neve painting.