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Virtual Italy Tour of Noto

Overview of Noto

The city of Noto is one of the many architectural towns in Italy and is a recently inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site. Citta di Noto is located at the foot of the Iblean Mountains on the island of Sicily and is just 20 miles away from the city of Syracuse, which is located to the northeast of this comune. Part of the province of Syracuse, the city of Noto is famous for the many baroque style buildings found here, most of which were built in the 18th century.

Cattedrale di San Nicolò di Mira in Noto

Cattedrale di San Nicolò di Mira in Noto

As with most Italian cities and towns, majority of the ancient structures here are generally religious in nature. There are more than a dozen churches within the city’s limits and a few palaces as well. These are seen as some of the best examples of Sicilian Baroque style buildings.

Where to Go and What to See

With all the fine Baroque style structures in Noto, you may be hard-pressed to choose which ones to visit first. While you can totally enjoy visiting any of the religious buildings in the area, you might want to go for the more popular and notable ones first. Here are some of them:

Cattedrale di San Nicolò di Mira – Also called the Noto Cathedral, this age-old Roman Catholic cathedral first began construction in the early part of the 18th century and was finished in 1776. The cathedral’s dome however collapsed due to a thunderstorm in 1996, which was also due to the weakening of the dome’s integrity after an earthquake in 1990. The collapsed dome was repaired and the building cleaned up, which made the reopening of the cathedral in 2007 a grand event, showing locals and visitors alike a fresh and revitalized cattedrale.

Palazzo Ducezio – Also known by its English name, the Ducezio Palace, this edifice is one of the few palaces that you can see in this city. Designed by Vincenzo Sinatra, who is a known Sicilian architect who specialized in Baroque style structures, this building is one of the many that he built in Noto after an earthquake in 1693 prompted the rebuild of the city on a new site.

What to Do

After you visit as many religious structures and palaces in the city, it is a good idea to relax and unwind while indulging in other activities in Noto. The capital of Baroque architecture in Italy has a few things you might find enjoyable, some of which you can only experience during specific times of the year:

Italian Treats in Noto

Italian Treats in Noto

Experience the Infiorata di Noto – This is a festival that happens every year during the third Sunday of May, and this event is one of the most colorful in the region. This is a flower festival where residents of the city decorate the city’s Via Nicolaci with flowers in colorful and artistic mosaics. This event is often set up two to three days before the day itself, with local and foreign artists pooling their talents together to create these majestic art pieces on the street using only colorful flowers.

Enjoy sweets from some of the best pastry shops in the city – Whether you are a fan of gelato or nougat or are crazy about almond sweets (dolci di mandorla), there are sweet shops in Noto that specialize in all these. One such shop is the Dolceria Corrado Costanzo, which serves all of these and more. Caffe Costanzo, as it is sometimes called, serves traditional Italian treats like cannoli, granita, and brioche stuffed with gelato. You can choose to sit inside with the crowd or step outside to enjoy your treat while watching the city around you.

Most people who come to come to Sicily often find themselves gravitating towards the more popular cities and towns, like Palermo and Syracuse, but if you find the time to include Noto in your tour, you will definitely love it. This is particularly true for those who love architecture and the Baroque style. For more information on trips to this part of Italy and what your options are, give us a call at 800.955.4418.