Along with the adjacent Convent of the Friars Minor Capuchin, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi to the Immaculate is considered one of the most important religious buildings in Noto.
The church was built between 1704 and 1745, after a design by the architects Vincenzo Sinatra and Rosario Gagliardi.
ART AND ARCHITECTURE
The harmonious facade of the church, with two orders, stands at the end of an imposing staircase with three ramps. The magnificent portal of the church is flanked by two Baroque columns, with two niches on each side and a smaller one above. On the second order, we can find a beautiful stained glass window.
The interior, with a single nave, is rich in paintings and funerary monuments dedicated to members of noble families of Noto.
As you enter the church, you can see on your left, inside the vault of the SS. Innocenti (Blessed Inocents), a painting entitled the Massacre of the Innocents, made by Antonino Vizzini in 1706. The vault of B. Andrea Conti contains a canvas dating back to 1724, depicting the death of the friar Andrea M. Conti of Anagni.
On the right side, in the vault of the Franciscan Saints, there is a canvas depicting San Corrado Confalonieri (Saint Conrad of Piacenza), patron of Noto, dating back to the 18th century. In the third vault on the right, we can find the tombstone of Giuseppe Bonasia and a canvas depicting the Nativity. In the central vault above the door that leads into the cloister is placed a canvas from the 18th century, depicting St. Francis kneeling before the Virgin.
Inside the church, we can also find two interesting chapels dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi and St. Anthony of Padua, decorated by Giuseppe Gianforma after a design by Vincenzo Sinatra, in which two very valuable paintings are placed – the Ecstasy of St. Francis and the Sermon of St. Anthony to the Fishes.
The apse contains, in the central niche, the wooden statue of the Immaculate Conception. Another marble statue of the Immaculate Conception of 1787, replacing the limestone one of 1704, can be found on the mezzanine floor, in front of the convent.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Noto railway station. To find the church on foot, use the map below.