Wondering whether to visit Noto? Take a tour!
Noto is an ideal base from which to explore the southeast of Sicily.
In January 1693, a huge earthquake struck southern Italy destroying around 45 cities and killing over 60 000 people. The response to the reconstruction of some of these cities was to redesign them using the flamboyant Baroque style of architecture.
The Noto that you see today is the result of the rebuilding after the earthquake.
How long should I stay there?
Noto is a small town which can easily be explored in one day.
Tight on time? It is possible to explore the town in 2-3 hours.
Plenty of time? Stay there and explore at leisure or use it as a base for other baroque towns in the area. You may also want to visit the Noto Coast.
I really recommend visiting here during the late afternoon or early evening as the setting sun illuminates the facades of the limestone buildings giving them a honey coloured glow.
What to see
Noto is an extremely easy town to navigate, simply follow the length of the beautiful main street, Corso Vittorio Emmanuele which is lined with baroque churches and palatial buildings. If you have plenty of time, then you can visit the many churches in the town, the cathedral and Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata. If you like a tower (as I do!) visit the bell tower of Chiesa di San Carlo al Corso. There are also lovely views from the rooftop terrace of Chiesa di Santa Chiara.
Make sure that you also explore some of the narrow streets leading off from either side.
Enter the town through Porta Reale.
About half way down Corso Vittorio Emmanuele you will reach Piazza Municipo which is where you will find the cathedral and the town hall.
Don’t miss the Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata up Via Corrado Nicolaci with its buttressed balconies embellished with figures such as horses, griffins, nymphs and cherubs. You can also visit inside if you have time.
Hope you enjoyed the tour!