All of the classical temples that we saw on our trip across the island were of the Doric order. Only in the remaining two columns of the Roman amphitheater in Catania did we even see any use of the Ionic in a classical structure. However, much of the later architecture (medieval, baroque, and neoclassical) that we saw in the cities and towns often employed the Ionic, Corinthian, or a modified Doric. When we visited Noto, I became very curious as to why such styles would spring up without having much apparent precedent in previous Greek Sicilian monuments. It seems that the styles, instead of evolving in Sicily along with the rest of the formerly Greco-Roman world, were αimported from elsewhere in Europe. It is given that the many peoples who dominated the island at one time or another brought with them their own aesthetics, including of architecture, but this constant domination denied, to some extent, the development of a uniquely Sicilian architecture.
To explain it another way, the various architectural movements mentioned above were defined by certain by certain characteristics that the orders embodied. For example, the baroque was all about being showy and grand, so the solid and monumental Doric was probably less appropriate than the Ionic or Corinthian. Additionally, medieval architecture was all about achieving height and light, and the thick, imposing Doric columns might have counteracted this effect. Whichever way we explain it, the lack of standard Doric columns in later architecture reveals the extent of Sicily’s cultural domination in its obedience to standards and its apparent inability to develop a style of its own after the time of the Normans, despite the many cultures represented there.