The church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata was built between 1704 and 1745 by architects Vincenzo Sinatra and Rosario Gagliardi. It is considered one of the most important religious buildings in Noto together with the adjoining convent of the Friars Minor.
The church, with its beautiful façade, stands at the end of an impressive three-ramps staircase (ramps were initially two then the third was added in the first years of the XIX century, after lowering the road level). The entrance portal is flanked by baroque columns and embellished with three niches, two placed on the sides and a smaller one above the portal.
In front of the convent there is a marble statue made in 1787 and depicting the Immaculate, which replace the limestone statue made in 1704.
The interior has a single nave and it is full of paintings, as well as funerary monuments dedicated to representatives of some noble families of Noto.
A wooden statue of the Immaculate Virgin made by Antonio Monachello (1564) is located on the main altar. Next to the building there is the highly decorated former Benedictine monastery of Santissimo Salvatore, which dates back to second half of the XVIII century.
Walking along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, visitors will also appreciate the graceful windows with curved wrought iron railings and the outline of the Santissimo Salvatore’s monastery.
The church contains many valuable works. On the left side, along the vault of the Blessed Innocents there is a painting representing the Massacre of the Innocents (made by Antonino Vizzini in 1706). The vault of B. Andrea Conti contains the canvas depicting the death of friar Andrew M. Conti of Anagni (1724). On the right side, along the vault of the Franciscan saints we see a painting of San Corrado Confalonieri, the patron of Noto (XVIII century). The third vault contains the tombstone of P. Giuseppe Bonasia (1756), whose body was found in the ancient church of Noto, and a painting representing the Nativity scene (1783.
The two chapels dedicated to San Francesco d’Assisi and Sant’Antonio da Padova are also very interesting. They were designed by architect Vincenzo Sinatra and decorated with stucco by Giuseppe Gianforma. Two valuable paintings are currently placed there: The Ecstasy of St. Francis and the Sermon of St. Anthony to the Fishes.
Finally, highly remarkable are also the three funerary monuments, which dates back to the XIX century.
Progetto finanziato con risorse di cui al Progetto d'Eccellenza "Culto e cultura - Itinerari di turismo religioso" di cui alla L- 296/2006 art. 1 c. 1228.
TOURIST PACKAGE CONTRACT (Aut. Regione Sicilia N.3743/S. 7 Tur del 22.02.2017)