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La cattedrale di San Nicolò, Noto

Noto: 5 reasons why you must visit this town

Noto is a small Baroque jewel, located in a plateau full of olive and almond trees. It is a town so beautiful that it seems to be unreal, especially at the sunset, when the stone of its buildings lights up, creating infinite nuances from pink to gold.

If you are not fully convinced, we give you 5 good reasons why Noto is worth visiting:

1 Find out why it is called “Stone Garden”

The historian and art critic Cesare Brandi called “Stone Garden” this urban and architectural masterpiece. The town was rebuilt after the destruction due to the earthquake in 1693, so a new and simple city planning was created, with parallel streets running from east to west so as to be always illuminated by the sun, according to the new Baroque style.

The rebuilding took place through a detailed study, never randomly, like a scenography for cinema.

The majestic and grandiose buildings were created by using the local calcareous stone, which has become rose-coloured and gold with time emphasized by the warlm light of the sunset. A Baroque jewel that art and architecture lovers can’t miss. 

Un dettaglio della cattedrale di Noto

The Cathedral

2 Experience the Baroque spring with the festival of Infiorata

Every year from 1980, during the third week of May, the evocative street Nicolaci in Noto turns into a flower garden. This bond between Baroque style and flowers lasts three days and creates an intense and charming effect.

This contest has become international in recent years, hosting and involving nations like Japan, Russia and, this year Spain. Everything starts on Friday, when every artist takes part in the conception and creation of sketches inspired by different themes, ranging from mythology to art and folklore. So an harmony of colors, fragrances and shapes comes to life in that street, creating real artworks made of flower petals. Finally, for those who want to feel immersed into a late ninenteenth-century atmosphere, we recommend not to miss the Baroque Parade, marching through the streets of Noto, which will make tourists and visitors relive the aristocratic atmosphere of the old Sicily.

Noto Infiorata


3 Explore the beaches of the nature reserve

The surroundings of Noto represent the ideal destination for the lovers of the sea and of the uncontaminated coasts of South-Eastern Sicily. A few kilometres away from Noto you will find the nature reserve of Vendicari, where it is possible to do excursions visiting the “tonnara”, the saltworks and also do birdwatching. Whatever you like, lying on the beach under the sun or having an adventure in search of places which are hard to reach, Vendicari offers more than 7 km of sandy coast and rock creeks. You have just to choose among: Eloro, immersed between thin golden sand and the archeological ruins; Marianelli, isolated and wild; San Lorenzo, with its vast beaches and beachfronts equipped for visitors and its small fascinating creeks.

Calamosche beach

Calamosche beach

4 Taste Sicilian Specialties

From the gastronomical point of view, Sicily is endowed with a wide set of delicacies both sweet and savoury: the so-called “mandorla pizzuta” of Avola, the pistachio nut of Bronte used for the making of delicious “granita”, Pachino tomatoes, sea urchin spaghetti and fresh local fish dishes, all the various sweet specialties, such as the typical Sicilian “cassatina”. Warning and controindication? You could put on weight, but it is worthwhile!



5 Go for a tour through the late Baroque cities

In addition to these natural and culinary paradises, you will find the architectural beauties of Noto Valley: Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli, Palazzolo Acreide – UNESCO sites from 2002. These cities, totally rebuilt after the earthquake in 1693, represent the peak and the flowering of the Baroque style in Europe, witnesses of the genius of the epoch and the progress of the urban design. It is highly recommended to visit each of them, so beautiful in their diversity.



Chiara Tringali for Hook Web Agency

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