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Palazzo Nicolaci dei principi di Villadorata

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Noto is famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century, considered among the main masterpieces in the Sicilian baroque style. Noto is, quite simply, the apotheosis of Baroque town …

Noto is famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century, considered among the main masterpieces in the Sicilian baroque style. Noto is, quite simply, the apotheosis of Baroque town planning and architecture. Completely destroyed by the terrible 1693 earthquake, it was rebuilt from scratch on a new site, about 10km from the old centre. Under the supervision of the Duke of Camastra, the Spanish Viceroy’s right-hand man, three architects, Labisi, Sinatra and Gagliardi, set to work, intent on creating a new town based firmly on Baroque ideals.
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  • Nicolaci Palace in Noto, a wonderful bud of the "stone garden" A “stone garden”. A “lost city of dreams”. These are some of the most fascinating descriptions of Noto that the critics and art lovers, as if they have been bewitched, have left behind over the years, after visiting this perfect emblem of the Sicilian Baroque style in the core of our island. The turning point that led the inhabitants of Noto to redesign their own city (which, nowadays, is included in the UNESCO protected sites and recognized as a World Heritage Site) dates back to 1693, the year of the terrible earthquake that involved the whole area, and they redesigned it almost as it were to become the perfect backdrop for an upcoming show. And that's when Noto transforms itself, dresses up, make-up. And it does so with the wonderful expressions of the Baroque taste of the period: the volutes, the spirals, the virtuosities, the folds of the stone playing with concave and convex forms. 
  • Nicolaci Palace is one of those beautiful buds of our rock garden. The building, which lies along a branch of the central Corso Vittorio Emanuele, was and still is the residence of the noble principles of Villadorata (the heirs infact kept for themselves a wing of the building giving the remaining to the City). Belonging to the class of the bourgeoisie and having reached to a state of economic well-being through the work of the tuna traps in the south of Sicily, the Villadorata soon turned their wealth in luxury, pomp, ornament and magnificence. And it was in the early decades of the eighteenth century they decided to build the palace that would be the sure sign of their power. The exterior, with a slight rosy glow because of the stone used to build them, are a tumultuous crowd of images and faces that seem to reach out to the restless audience. Faces, repeated countless times, of mermaids, cherubs, winged horses, lions and sometimes grotesque figures that stand out on Via Nicolaci making it one of the most beautiful and scenic streets of Noto. The balconies, with their sinuous wrought iron railings, infact, are famous for their majestic ornamental shelfs, extremely pompous and magnificent and indelible symbol of the wealth of the epoch, and are therefore considered among the most beautiful balconies of the world.  
  • Nicolaci palace is divided over four floors, divided in ninety rooms: the first floor had mainly the function of being a warehouse for food storage , the second and the third ones were used as the actual residence of the baron and his family, and the last was intended for the bondage. Thanks to the many restoration projects, operated by the Superintendence of the Cultural Heritage of Syracuse, now there are several rooms that can be visited. There is the tea-room, that of music, the one of amusement and smoke, and a series of richly decorated rooms, which are mainly decorated with scenes depicting the manner in which they were probably used by their inhabitants. Wandering through the rooms of the palace, with the overwhelming light that passes through the balconies, and the frescoes from the mythological figures that hover over our heads, it seems almost to relive the atmosphere of the sumptuous Sicily of "The Leopard" by Tomasi di Lampedusa and "The Viceroy" by De Roberto. Furthermore, in the splendor of the most beautiful room, "the ballroom", specially decorated with period furniture and curtains to recall the atmosphere, still seems to echo the rustle of silk gowns of the dancing ladies, the measured powerful pace of their knights, the shuffling of a thousand dance steps. And therefore it sounds almost prophetic the sentence that one of the characters by Tomasi says: “everything will be same while everything will be changed ..”  Author: Laura Fassari
  • The idea was to create a linear, perfectly proportioned urban centre whose parallel lines would provide myriad panoramas. The town was divided into three parts by three roads running from east to west, thus ensuring the constant attentions of the sun. At the top lived the nobility, in the middle the clergy, and at the bottom, the “hoi polloi”. The main building material used was local compacted limestone, a substance that seemingly absorbs the sun’s aureate rays and transforms them into a soft golden-honeyed glow. The effect at sunset is quite something.
  • The main thoroughfare is Corso Vittorio Emanuele along which many of Noto’s most representative buildings stand. It begins at the Porta Reale and extends east via three piazzas, each with its own church. The public gardens are situated along this road (or at least looking on to it) as are the Monastero del Santissimo Salvatore with its graceful tower, the inspired Palazzo Ducrezio, the Cathedral (whose dome collapsed in 1996), the Church of San Francesco, the Jesuit Church and College and Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata. All these buildings are obviously Baroque in style but each is unique with its own fascinating design. The architects seem to have been given free reign to run through the whole gamut of late 17th Century architectural devices and forms with a virtuosity that has visitors almost chuckling at their originality. Curvaceous concave facades battle for supremacy next to their convex cousins, while rectilinear edifices frown regally at their presumptuous frivolity. Grotesque masks, cherubs and curlicues jostle with volutes and other embellishments, and puffed-up wrought iron goose breasted balconies abound.
  • A UNESCO Heritage site, Noto is not to be missed, even if Baroque architecture is not your cup of tea. More than just a “Baroque” town, it is a subliminal expression of originality, fantasy, obsession and man’s resilience in the face of the overwhelming force of nature. The main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, runs from the imposing gateway of Porta Reale (close to the park and the bus stop) along past the Chiesa di San Francesco (1704-1745), which sits atop its long staircase, to the town's central piazza. Here the grand cathedral, the Duomo (1693-1770), faces the pretty Palazzo Ducezio (1746), now the seat of the Town Council.
  • The current town, rebuilt after the earthquake on the left bank of River Asinaro, was planned on a grid system by Giovanni Battista Landolina. This new city occupied a position nearer to the Ionian Sea. The presence of architects like Rosario Gagliardi, Francesco Sortino and others, made the new Noto a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque, dubbed the "Stone Garden" by Cesare Brandi and is currently listed among UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The new structures are characterized by a soft tufa stone, which under sunlight assumes a typical honey tonality. Parts of the cathedral suddenly collapsed in 1996, a great loss to Sicilian Baroque.
  • The third weekend in May, the scenic city of Noto, Sicily, features flower "mosaic" pictures made of flower petals at the Infiorata di Noto festival. The festival, one of the most famous of its kind in Italy, is usually held the weekend of the third Sunday in May. Noto is a beautiful Baroque town and UNESCO World Heritage site on the southeastern coast of Sicily. The exhibit consists of many individual works spread out on the streets of the town centre offering a really beautiful sight. Via Nicolaci, going slightly uphill and lined with beautiful baroque palaces, was chosen as the central site for the event. But all the main streets and monuments are involved in the big event, with more flower designs and decorations.
  • The finest baroque town in Sicily according to the visitors.  The locals call it ‘a garden in stone’.  Built after the earthquake of 1693 by Prince Landolina along classical lines, the city became a personal vision of one family.  The city is built on two levels, the lower level being the more grandiose, the public buildings and swathes of steps line the Corso.  On the upper level smaller buildings compete for space without detracting from the whole.
  • Nowadays Noto is visited by many tourists, especially at the time of the infiorita, or flower festival, when (as in Umbria and other cities) the streets are covered with elaborate designs made of flowers. Every year, the third Sunday in May is dedicated to the INFIORATA of the city of Noto.  The event was born in 1980, and has grown in complexity and popularity year on year. On Via Corrado Nicolaci the impact is strongest, with the Church of the Montevergini at the top and the famous Palazzo of Principe Nicolaci  looking down over a street of flower pictures.  Every year the theme is different.  Today, the infiorata is considered one of the most beautiful events of the island.
  • Transcript

    • 1. http://www.authorstream.com/Presentation/sandamichaela-1222518-palazzo-nicolaci-dei-principi-di-villadorata/
    • 2. Noto Considered Sicily's "Baroque City," Noto is in the province of Syracuse, in the southeastern corner of Sicily. The town is located about 35 kilometers southwest of the city of Syracuse. Old Noto was completely destroyed in the extremely violent earthquake that struck Eastern Sicily in 1693, a quake that heavily damaged Catania and Syracuse also. The present site of Noto was rebuilt from scratch, and almost entirely in the Baroque style, the prevailing style of building in Sicily at the time. Considerat oraşul barocului sicilian, Noto se află în provincia Siracuza, în colţul de sudest al Siciliei, la o distanţă de circa 35 de kilometri de Siracuza . Vechiul Noto a fost complet distrus de cutremurul devastator din anul 1693 care a provocat mari pagube şi în Siracuza şi Catania. Noul oraş construit din ruine este realizat aproape în totalitate în stil baroc, stilul la modă în Sicilia în acea perioadă. Un giorno Dio decise di fare un regalo alla terra! Esso si tolse un diamante dalla Sua corona e lo gettó in mezzo al Mare Mediterraneo dandogli il nome di SICILIA!
    • 3. Noto, UNESCO World Heritage Site, representing "the final flowering of baroque art in Europe."
    • 4. Noto is, quite simply, the apotheosis of Baroque town planning and architecture. Completely destroyed by the terrible 1693 earthquake, it was rebuilt from scratch on a new site, about 10km from the old centre. Under the supervision of the Duke of Camastra, the Spanish Viceroy’s right-hand man, three architects, Labisi, Sinatra and Gagliardi, set to work, intent on creating a new town based firmly on Baroque ideals. Noto este apoteoza arhitecturii baroce şi a planificării urbane. Complet distrus de catastrofalul cutremur din anul 1693 a fost reconstruit din ruine pe un amplasament situat la 10 kilometri de vechiul oraş. Sub conducerea Ducelui de Camastra (mâna dreaptă a viceregelui spaniol) trei arhitecţi, Labisi, Sinatra şi Gagliardi au construit noul oraş
    • 5.  
    • 6. Villadorata palace on Via Nicolaci was built b y Architect Paolo Labisi in 1733
    • 7. Nicolaci Palace is one of the beautiful buds of the “stone garden”. The building, which lies along a branch of the central Corso Vittorio Emanuele, was and still is the residence of the noble principles of Villadorata (the heirs infact kept for themselves a wing of the building giving the remaining to the City). Palatul Nicolaci este una dintre capodoperele oraşului supranumit „grădina de piatră”. Situat pe o stradă perpendiculară pe Corso Vottorio Emanuele, a fost şi încă mai este reşedinţa principilor Villadorata (urmaşii acestora şi-au păstrat o aripă a palatului şi au donat oraşului restul clădirii)
    • 8.  
    • 9. Belonging to the class of the bourgeoisie and having reached to a state of economic well-being through the work of the tuna traps in the south of Sicily, the Villadorata soon turned their wealth in luxury, pomp, ornament and magnificence. And it was in the early decades of the eighteenth century they decided to build the palace that would be the sure sign of their power. Aparţinând burgheziei, atunci când au atins bunăstarea economică cu ajutorul plaselor de prins ton în sudul Siciliei, principii Villadorata şi-au transformat averea în lux, ostentaţie şi măreţie. În primele decenii ale secolului XVIII au decis construirea palatului care reprezenta simbolul puterii dobândite.
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    • 11. The Sicilian Baroque style came to fruition during a major surge of rebuilding following the massive earthquake in 1693. After the earthquake, local architects, many of them trained in Rome, were given plentiful opportunities to recreate the more sophisticated Baroque architecture that had become popular in mainland Italy; the work of these local architects — and the new genre of architectural engravings that they pioneered — inspired more local architects to follow their lead Stilul baroc sicilian s-a născut, de fapt, și a evoluat puternic spre stilul inconfundabil de mai târziu în timpul perioadei de reconstrucție ce a urmat cutremului devastator din 1693. Arhitecților locali, mulți dintre ei studiind și practicând cu marii arhitecți ai barocului din Roma, li s-au oferit oportunități și condiții deosebite de a crea construcții baroc mai frumoase și mai sofisticate decât cele create anterior pe pamântul Italiei continentale. Creațiile acestor arhitecți, alături de o nouă modalitate de gravare pe care aceștia au folosit-o în premieră, au fost sursa de inspiraţie pentru tot mai mulți arhitecți sicilieni.
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    • 29. Every year the scenic city of Noto features flower "mosaic" pictures made of flower petals at the Infiorata di Noto festival . The festival, one of the most famous of its kind in Italy, is usually held the weekend of the third Sunday in May. The exhibit consists of many individual works spread out on the streets of the town centre offering a really beautiful sight. Via Nicolaci, going slightly uphill and lined with beautiful baroque palaces, was chosen as the central site for the event. But all the main streets and monuments are involved in the big event, with more flower designs and decorations. În fiecare primăvară, în cea de a treia duminică din luna mai se desfăşoară la Noto Infiorata, festivalul florilor, când străzile sunt decorate cu mozaicuri din petale de flori. Locul central al spectaculosului eveniment este panta abruptă formată de Via Nicolaci
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    • 33. On Via Corrado Nicolaci the impact is strongest, with the Church of the Montevergini at the top and the famous Palazzo of Principe Nicolaci looking down over a street of flower pictures.
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    • 38. "To have seen Italy without having seen Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything." Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
    • 39. Sound : Sicilian Romance - Ernesto Cortazar Text: Internet Pictures : Sanda Foişoreanu Internet Otilia Contraş Gabriela Cristescu Copyright: All the images belong to their authors. Arangement : Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasanda