Church of San Domenico (Chiesa di San Domenico)
One of the Sicilian Baroque jewels of Noto, a city about 20 miles from Syracuse on the island of Sicily, is the Church of San Domenico (Chiesa di San Domenico), built in the early 18th century.
San Domenico is one of the Sicilian Baroque structures that is encompassed in the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation “Val di Noto,” added to UNESCO’s list in 2002. The cohesive style of the towns in the Val di Noto is a result of most of the buildings in those towns being destroyed in the same earthquake in 1693. They were all rebuilt during the same time period, which happened to be when the Sicilian Baroque style was created.
The church is on a Greek cross plan, and was designed by Syracuse architect Rosario Gagliardi. The facade glows with the familiar warm, yellow limestone that was used in buildings all over the Val di Noto during the Sicilian Baroque era. It’s the same material used on the facade of Noto’s gorgeous cathedral.
The interior of San Domenico features some of Sicily’s characteristic stucco artwork. There are five domes on the church, each one decorated with the stucco on the inside. One of the altars has above it an 18th-century painting by Vito d’Anna.