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Noto

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Not to be confused with the Noto Peninsula in Japan or Nötö, an island in the Archipelago Sea.

Noto is a city in Sicily, Italy, one of the eight world heritage listed "Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto".

Understand

Noto was once situated on Mount Alveria but destroyed by an earthquake in Val di Noto in 1693 and was rebuilt in another site in Baroque style.

Tourist information

  • 1 Ufficio informazioni turistiche A.A.P.I.T., Piazza XVI Maggio (behind the Hercules fountain), ☏ +39 0931573779. Tu-F 09:30-10:30, 15:30-16:30; Sa Su 09:30-11:00, 15:30-17:00. (updated Mar 2017)
  • Info Point Città di Noto, Corso Vitt. Emanuele 135, ☏ +39 339 4816218. (updated Mar 2017)
  • Eloro District APP, in free download help you to find any interesting place in Noto and around all district, updated with local events and services.

Get in

Get there as a daytrip from Syracuse or a stopover from Syracuse to Ragusa (1½ hour), Gela, or Enna.

By bus

  • 2 Regional bus stop, Via Pola (next to the Villa Communale outside the Porta Reale). Interbus and AST provide connecting services with Syracuse (approx. 1 hr 15 min). Tickets sold at the Hotel Flora next to the stop. (updated Apr 2017)

By train

The railway station is further from the town centre than the bus station. The station appears to be unmanned at least some of the time with no automated ticket machines (see below for some details).

Combined with some difficulty with getting a return ticket at the station it may be more convenient to take a bus on a return trip despite it takes a bit more time.

  • 3 Stazione di Noto (at south of the town). M-Sa. A few trains a day towards Ragusa and Siracuse. No services on Sundays. (updated Apr 2017)

You can buy tickets for travel on Regional trains at the ticket offices of the station, at the ticket vending machines, at the authorized travel agencies and points of sale of the circuit Lottomatica, Sisal and Punto Servizi, from the Internet site, or with the App Trenitalia, available for iPhone and iPad, and also for devices with the Android operating system.

A ticket can be also purchased on board with a supplement of €5 to the cost of the ticket. On departure from the station, notify the train crew before getting on.

Get around

On foot!

See

Noto is a World Heritage Site and billed as the most attractive of the Baroque towns in south east Sicily. In fact it's a really nice small town where the most of significant buildings are aligned along a single street.

Unfortunately some of them are closed and/or being restored. It feels, like in many other places in Sicily, there is not enough money available to bring the town back to what it once was.

  • 1 Cattedrale di San Nicolò. The cathedral stands on the summit of a magnificent staircase consisting in three flights of steps dating back to the 18th century but restored at the beginning of the 19th century. The facade is closed off by two imposing bell towers and it is topped by two late 18th-century statues 
  • 2 Porta Reale (Ferdinandea). The entrance into the town and its main street – the Corso Vittorio Emanuele. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 3 Palazzo Ducezio (Municipio). 09:30-18:00; diring Infiorata 09:30-19:00; summer: 09:30-20:00. 18th-century building designed by Vincenzo Sinatra with Neo-Classical frescos by Antonio Mazza. It now hosts the Town Hall. €2; combined with the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, the Sala degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors) and the Museum €4. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 4 Teatro Comunale "Tina Di Lorenzo", Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 83 (at the Piazza XVI Maggio). Sometimes referred to as "La Scala di Milano in miniatura". (updated Mar 2017)
  • 5 Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata, Via Nicolaci, ☏ +39 338 7427022. 10:00-13:00, 15:00-17:30. Well-restored 18th-century palazzo. The ground floor is home to the town library "Principe di Villadorata" (Prince of Villadorata). The palace is still inhabited by some members of Nicolaci family. €4. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 6 Chiesa di Santa Chiara (next to ex. Convento delle Suore Benedettine). (updated Mar 2017)
  • 7 Museo Civico (ex. Convento delle Suore Benedettine), Corso Vitt. Emanuele,149. Aug 09:00-24:00; Sep-Jun 09:30-13:30, 15:30-19:30 [1]. It consists of two parts: archaeological collection and Galleria d’arte contemporanea E.E. Pirrone (Contemporary Art Gallery). The building also said to have a nice roof terrace with wonderful views. €2; combined with the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele, the Sala degli Specchi and the Museum €4. (updated Mar 2017)
  • 8 Chiesa di San Domenico. (updated Mar 2017)

Some other palazzi:

  • 9 Palazzo Landolina. 
  • 10 Palazzo Di Lorenzo del Castelluccio. 
  • 11 Palazzo Astuto. 
  • 12 Palazzo Trigona. 
  • 13 Palazzo Impellizzer. (updated Mar 2017)

Do

  • 1 Infiorata di Noto, Via Nicolaci. A festival which attracts thousands of tourists every year, the third Sunday of May. A street covered with splendid mosaics made with flower petals, in a corner dream. This new painting technique allows teachers infioratori to make a flowered carpet along the way Nicolaci. 

Buy

Local specialties include marmelades, jams, honeys, biscotti, and granite.

Eat

  • Trattoria del Crocifisso, Via Principe Umberto, 48, ☏ +39 0931 571151. Very good small restaurant of famiglia Baglieri. Very honest prices. 
  • Neas Ristorante, Via Rocco Pirri, 30, ☏ +39 0931 573538. Nice restaurant and outdoor serving in little courtyard. Local seafood. 
  • 1 Caffè Sicilia, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 125, ☏ +39 0931 835013. Run by Corrado Assenza of Netflix fame, the gelati is said to be the "best" in the world. (updated Oct 2019)
  • 2 Ristorante Manna Noto, Via Rocco Pirri, 19, ☏ +39 0931 836051. In the wine cellar of the Nicolaci Palace, and with period furnishings, the restaurant serves traditional Sicilian dishes surrounded by hundreds of bottles of wine. Expensive, but excellent. (updated Oct 2019)

Drink

Sleep

  • B&B Geranio Vacanze. 
  • Not Sicily B&B. 
  • Macrina B&B - Friendly proprietor (though not English-speaking) with good sized rooms a pleasant garden to have breakfast in. [2]
  • Sicily Villa Rental. Sea front holiday home in Marzamemi, nearby Noto. Old warehouse 10 meters from the sea, it can accommodate up to 17 guests. Weekly rentals available. 
  • A Lumia, SS115, 2KM west from Noto, ☏ +39 388 1944339. 

Go next

  • 1 Noto Antica (9 km north of Noto, not reachable by public transport). An archaeological site which is sometimes promoted as "Pompeii of the Middle Ages". This was a site of Noto completely destroyed by the 1693 earthquake. 
  • 2 Villa Romana del Tellaro (south of Noto, by the SP 19 towards Pachino), ☏ +39 0931 573883. 09:00-19:00. Remains of a 4th-century Roman villa with some beautiful mosaics. 


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