It was the year 1693 when a violent earthquake, one of the most violent ever seen, destroyed almost half of Sicily, then under Spanish domination. In Noto, Catania, Syracuse, Ragusa, Modica and Scicli hundreds of thousands of people lost their lives under the weight of palaces, churches and monasteries razed to the ground. About ten years passed before the population of those places managed to recover and decide to rebuild what the earth had destroyed. And this tormented land rose again, resurrecting more beautiful than before, a baroque land in black lava. But reconstruction, as we know, always brings with it intrigue and politics.
So it was that Antonio Basile, delegate of the state property of Messina to the regional parliament, moved to the areas of the Val di Noto, engineering stratagems and shady business, opposed by fellow deputy Don Alejandro Caribas and his influential friendships of religious and Viceroy. Meanwhile, his wife Cornelia Alliata dedicated her life to charitable works, Sister Egle battled to obtain funds and rebuild monasteries and convents more beautiful than they were.