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Discover some of the most beautiful monuments of the Baroque Sicily. Live local celebrations of the Patroni (Saints of the town), or attend local & international art festivals.

NOTO

After the terrible earthquake of 1693, Noto was entirely rebuilt 10 km away from its original setting.

Three architects, Labisi, Sinatra and Gagliardi, set to work, intent on creating a new town based firmly on Baroque ideals. The idea was to create a linear, perfectly proportioned urban centre. The town was divided into three parts by three roads running from east to west, thus ensuring the constant attentions of the sun. At the top lived the nobility, in the middle the clergy, and at the bottom, merchants and craftsmen.

The main building material used was local compacted limestone, a substance that seemingly absorbs the sun’s aureate rays and transforms them into a soft golden-honeyed glow. The effect at sunset is absolutely fascinating.

Some Highlights

  • Corso Vittorio Emanuele from Porta Ferdinandea
  • Basilica of San Salvatore
  • Natural Reserve of Vendicari
  • In Marzamemi, the festival of the blue fish in September
  • In Palazzolo Acreide, the festival of San Paolo in June
  • Wine tasting
Infiorata

This very colourful celebration has its roots in 1625 in Vatican, Rome. The Infiorata of Noto first started in 1980, and is dedicated every year to another country. In 2015 it was the turn of Catalonia, whereas the year before it was Russia’s. For 2 days only, the Via Nicolaci, near the eponym palace, is taken over by local and foreign artists who work together on a set theme to create a carpet of petal mosaics. The sight of it is quite breathtaking, and Noto highly merits a visit for the joy of laying your eyes on it.

Villadorata

In a pure baroque style, with nearly 90 rooms, this palace dates back to 1700 even though its construction finished only in 1765. The palace was first home for the noble family Nicolaci, which owns still today one wing, having given to the town of Noto the other one. In the latter, you will find the Town Library founded in 1817 and displaying thousands of volumes and various manuscripts in Latin and Spanish, together with a portrait gallery of illustrious citizens of Noto given by the Baron Astuto.

Palazzo Ducezio

Today Townhouse of Noto, the palace was built around 1760. It well deserves a visit, specially the oval shaped salon named “the Room of the Mirrors” with its lovely gold and stucco decorations, in Louis XV style, and of course its ornate mirrors. The central painting on the ceiling is attributed to Antonino Mazza and was realised in 1826, representing an allegory of Ducezio, king of the Siculi.

The choice of visits will depend on the season and the events taking place in Noto.

8 stunning days to discover the real Sicilian culture!

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