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Stone Jewelry

………Prima, faintly, mid-morning. Then, in the very early afternoon, the rumble of a tremendous tremor, with a magnitude today measured in 7.4 degrees. According to the currently most widely accepted thesis, the epicenter is off the coast between Augusta and Catania, about 20 kilometers deep along the Hyblean-Maltese escarpment. People on land, terrified, flee to the sea, but are hit by a devastating tsunami. A disaster: and the most severe earthquake historically recorded in Italy. It is still possible in Noto to get a sense of it by climbing to the remains of Noto Antica, devastated to the point of being considered irretrievably lost. Completely abandoned among olive groves and wheat fields, it looks more like a stony ground than a field of ruins. The new town, destined to become the jewel of the local baroque, will be refounded a few kilometers away. A (perhaps debatable) maxim invites one to view a crisis as an opportunity; If one had to choose a situation to demonstrate this, perhaps one could just recall that distant January 1693 and what happened in the years that followed.Suffice it to say that UNESCO included in the List the historic centers of eight Sicilian municipalities in the Southeastern Etnean area (Noto, Catania, Modica Palazzolo Acreide, Militello in Val di Catania, Scicli Ragusa, and Caltagirone, all extensively restored and or even built from scratch after the earthquake and characterized by imaginative architectural baroque, it is the season of the late baroque Sicilian, also born as a form of psychological reaction, which is expressed through an exhaustive production of corbels and statues, balconies and balustrades, columns and pinnacles, pediments and portals, and domes, porticoes and ashlar vestments, carved coats of arms and noble crowns, staircases and volutes. This wavy, variegated, chiaroscuro architecture, populated by a crowd of statues that seems to want to compensate with stone figures for so many human victims of the earthquake, is, by the way, stretched out on the stave of a regular, elegantly orthogonal street layout, as if to make the memory of Greek ubanistics re-emerge from the depths of history. in the picture you can see, Ducezio Palace, seat of the City Council, Designed by Sinatra, it has a convex facade with twenty arches: the second floor was added in the first half of the twentieth century. To the same author a is attributed the church of Montevergini (below). which closes Nicolaci Street (named after the building on the left in the toto, with its elaborate balconies). St. Francis and the monastery tower of the sacred buildings.


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