Noto: Capital of Sicilian Baroque
The capital of Sicilian Baroque par excellence is Noto: “a stone garden” where you can get lost among the numerous monuments, churches, noble palaces, with a Baroque taste that made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002.
The medieval city of which traces of the walls and the castle are visible, corresponds to the ancient Neto, destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 but later rebuilt, like Noto, in Baroque style.
Noto is located in the geographical area of Val di Noto, an area known for the presence of seaside resorts, such as Marina di Ragusa, and cities famous throughout the world for their culture and history such as Ragusa, Syracuse and Scicli.
What to see in Noto
Every corner of the Stone City is a painting of baroque friezes, inlaid capitals and majestic and elegant churches and palaces. To get the idea of entering a real open-air museum, reach the historic center passing through the majestic “Porta Reale”: a triumphal arch dating back to the 19th century, built on the occasion of the visit of Ferdinand II, King of the Two Sicilie, which leads you onto Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street of Noto.
Along the street you can admire Baroque architecture of the highest quality: the Church of San Francesco, with the adjoining Church of Santa Chiara and the complex of the convent of the Benedictine nuns. What makes it unique is the beautiful and majestic stone staircase and its interior, considered, with its numerous decorations, one of the most important in the whole of Sicily for its Baroque architectural style.
Dominating the entire historic center is the imposing cathedral of San Nicolò. The entire facade is made of limestone and in Baroque style. In 1996 the interior was damaged due to the collapse of the dome and part of the central nave, which was restored in 2007. Over the centuries, since 700, the Church has undergone several renovations and renovations which have given it the current appearance.
To embellish the Piazza del Duomo is Palazzo Ducezio, as well as the town hall, and the Bishop’s Palace.
A tangle of winding and sinuous streets to go through to discover the beauties that are hidden in the historic center, such as Palazzo Nicolaci, a structure that represents, in its entirety, the artistic wealth of the historic center Netino. Its facade is characterized by an imposing portal with two Ionic columns surmounted by a balcony richly decorated with grotesque figures. The palace can be visited inside with its elegant nineteenth-century Neoclassical style staircase, the “Tea Room”, decorated with oriental motifs and the party room, with “Trompe I’oeil” decorations that will make you relive the atmosphere of those times.
In Via Nicolaci, full of palaces with balconies decorated in Baroque style, the “infiorata” takes place in May, one of the most heartfelt events of the inhabitants of Noto, a sort of “greeting to spring”. The street is literally covered with canvases painted with flowers of all kinds and colors, inspired by different themes each year, creating a colorful carpet that attracts people from all over Sicily and beyond.
If the center was rebuilt after the earthquake, remains of what was once the ancient city are visible in the so-called “Ancient Noto”. Among the Mediterranean vegetation that today arises spontaneously among the finds, the center was very rich in Roman times and very important during the Middle Ages. It stands on Mount Alveria and has medieval walls, fortifications and ruins.
Among the monuments visible in the archaeological area there is the Porta della Montagna which is located right at the entrance to the site, the ruins of the royal castle, datable between the 11th and 17th centuries, the Jesuit Church, the gymnasium and the heroa greeks.
Like the other beauties of the Val di Noto, Scicli, Ragusa Ibla, Modica, a Unesco heritage site, Noto also deserves to be visited and discovered, to admire and appreciate the Baroque beauties that, in particular, make it the capital of Sicilian Baroque. .
What to see in one day: day tour in Noto
What to see in one day: day tour in Noto To discover the beauties that our land offers, a lifetime would not be enough … but you know, when you go on vacation, there are many things to do, to see and you have to organize the time you have available to visit as many places possible.
If your stay in Noto is short, you must not get lost just visiting some of the most famous churches or buildings, but, to fully appreciate the city, you need to walk the streets and squares of the historic center, almost without a very specific destination, so that you can discover the beauties that are hidden in every corner.
Taking the Porta Reale as a starting point, immerse yourself in the heart of Noto to discover the many attractions that have contributed to making it the Baroque capital of Sicily.
Where to eat in Noto
Val di Noto is a land rich in history, cultures and traditions … but also flavors, colors and smells. This rich territory offers a wide variety of products that have become the protagonists of the kitchens.
In Noto you can appreciate the local delicacies and specialties such as arancini, cannoli and granite or discover some typical dishes in the local restaurants or trattorias. The historic center is the ideal place, with many restaurants, cafes and pastry shops waiting for you. The Casa Matta Restaurant Pizzeria, in via Tommaso Fazello, or the Fontana d’Ercole trattoria in Vicolo Salonia.
To taste marzipan sweets or martorana fruit, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele you will find Caffè Sicilia or in Via Principe Umberto the Pasticceria Kennedy.
Holiday homes in Noto
If you want to immerse yourself in the city of Noto and in the neighboring towns to spend an intense and fun holiday in South Eastern Sicily, you can take a look at our holiday homes and apartments in the area, which are located in strategic positions to visit the whole Val di Noto.
These and many other villas, holiday homes and apartments are available on Cento Sicilie.