Santa Maria La Nova is a Baroque-style church in Scicli. A church at the site, dedicated to Santa Maria della Pietà, was present by the 6th-7th centuries. This church was destroyed during the Norman conquest. Reconstruction under the sponsorship of the Confraternity of the same name was funded by Pietro Di Lorenzo Busacca that, doing the will in 1567. The rebuilt church was then destroyed by the 1693 earthquake.
Like most other churches in town, it has a facade with three orders, divided into three compartments by pilasters, two Ionic and one Corinthian. The third story links to a belltower with a stone balustrade. The original designer was Giovanni Venancio Marvuglia, but his work was carried out by Cardona, with the interior stucco decoration completed in 1801 by Emanuele and Domenico Ruiz. The nave is flanked by three chapels on each side with a dome at the crossing. The upper story and vaults of the nave were begun in 1817 and the stuccoes not completed until 1851 by Gianforma. The church was reconsecrated in 1857.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.