Palazzo Ducezio (Town Hall)

1746 (upper floor added in 1951 after being planned in the 19th century)
Vincenzo Sinatra

Located on the south side of the Piazza Municipio, opposite the cathedral, the City Hall is in a prominent position. The arches on this north side recall other loggia common in Italian public buildings. But here, according to Tobriner, the similarity stops since "the original one-storey elevation of the building, its semicircular entrance, its corners with their re-entrant angles, and the oval reception room and central dome are not Italian but French" (174). He goes on to explain the motives of those influencing the building's design: they "wanted to be part of the stylish, intellectual elite of Europe so they built the city hall to embody the most urbane ideas they could summon" (179). In addition, the architect Vincenzo Sinatra, at first an assistant to Galiardi (later a nephew by marriage), was more open to European sources than his mentor had been.

The original design was only one story which supposedly would cut down on noise and allow access to the garden. In the rear view, however, it was two stories since the building is sited on an incline. The second story was only added in the 1950s ("to the detriment of the original conception" [173]) although it had been designed in the nineteenth century.

The unique capitals

Works Consulted or Quoted:
The Baroque Art in Val di Noto [official guidebook] Palermo, n.d.
Grady, Ellen. Sicily [Blue Guide]. New York: Norton, 2006.
Tobriner, Stephen. The Genesis of Noto. London: Zwemmer, 1982.

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© 2012 Mary Ann Sullivan. I have photographed (on site), scanned, and manipulated all the images on these pages. Please feel free to use them for personal or educational purposes. They are not available for commercial purposes.