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The Convent

HISTORY

As a silent witness of the events that have affected this part of Sicily, from its privileged position overlooking a suggestive view of the valley, the history of the convent has developed over centuries.

The first monks arrived in Ragusa in 1537. Initially they settled along the banks of San Leonardo stream, then they decided to go up the hill in search of a healthier position.

1610

timeline
In 1610, the new convent was built on the hill, near the ancient Church of Sant’Agata.

 

Unfortunately, both the convent and the church were seriously damaged by a devastating earthquake which occurred in the Val di Noto in 1693.

 

However, as evidenced by the buildings themselves, reconstruction began immediately: the date 1714 is carved on a ceiling beam, 1715 on the choir door, 1742 on the floor of the entrance corridor to the convent.

1866

timeline
In 1866, with the advent of the Kingdom, both church and convent became a State property.

However, thanks to generous donations from the faithful, it was soon possible to regain the Church and reopen it to the public.

 

The convent remained inhabited until the post-war period, when it was then changed into a hotel residence managed by the monks themselves.

2019

Starting from the 60s, a slow decline began for the Convent now completely uninhabited.

About twenty years later, in the 80s, civil and religious institutions decided to recover the convent to make it become the ideal venue for exhibitions as well as artistic, cultural and religious initiatives.

Today, the restored convent maintains all its simple and natural dimension by hosting also the prestigious Nosco Cooking School and Restaurant Cenobio.