Cathedral of Noto on Sicily

Val di Noto is venue for Madonna’s birthday celebrations

By Region News The Islands

Italian-American pop star Madonna marked her 64th birthday at Sicily’s famed Val di Noto. It was also the 22nd birthday of her son with Guy Ritchie.  

Madonna chose the town of Pachino near Siracusa to celebrate the birthday of her son with British film director Guy Ritchie on August 11, 2000.

She is currently celebrating her own birthday in another nearby Baroque jewel, the lavish palazzo Castelluccio at Noto.

The singer was born Madonna Louise Ciccone on August 16, 1958, in Bay City, Michigan. Her parents were Madonna Louise (née Fortin) and Silvio Anthony “Tony” Ciccone. Her father’s parents were Italian emigrants from Pacentro near L’Aquila in Abruzzo while her mother was of French-Canadian descent.

Val di Noto

In June 2002, UNESCO inscribed the towns of the Val di Noto on the World Heritage List as “representing the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe”.

The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year.

The rebuilding meant the towns are now a beautiful example of Baroque architecture. Noto is also known for its flowers and almonds, and holds the Infiorata di Noto in May. Then, the pavements and squares are fragrantly padded with “mosaics” of flower petals.

On Friday the artists begin their creations so they can be admired over the weekend. On Monday, children are allowed to run through the flowers, destroying the works.

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