Resting at the foot of the Iblean Mountains, overlooking the olive groves of Asinaro Valley, Noto is Sicily’s epicentre of Baroque architecture. Discover the honey-hued palazzos and elegant churches that earned Noto its World Heritage-listed status.
Things to do in Noto
Soak up the timeless beauty of Noto by entering the main thoroughfare via the magnificent golden archway of Porta Reale, which gives way to the pedestrianised street of Corso Vittorio Emanuele. Towering over the Piazza XVI Maggio, the Chiesa di San Domenico is considered one of Noto’s finest churches.
Rising poetically above the city, San Nicolò Cathedral is a must-see for its peachy, glowing dome and grand facade. Climb the graceful flight of steps, before ascending the two bell towers for incredible city views. Nearby, marvel at the striking facade of Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata.
Seafood lovers should head to Ristorante IL Cantuccio and try the lightly breaded baked swordfish with cherry tomatoes. For dessert, there’s nowhere else but the 124-year-old Caffé Sicilia, where the Assenza brothers serve their famous almond milk granita.
If you’re in Noto on Sunday morning, don’t miss the atmospheric outdoor food market in Ortigia. Soak up the lively energy of the Sicilian vendors and feast your eyes on piles of the ripe tomatoes and fragrant herbs.
Visit some of Sicily’s most secluded golden sand beaches, located just 10 kilometres from Noto. Make a beeline for Lido di Noto and San Lorenzo’s Aqua Beach, where you can hire a deck chair and stay for a light lunch under a parasol.
Getting around Noto
Noto is a 35-minute drive or an hour train ride from Syracuse. For international arrivals, Noto is most easily accessed from Catania-Fontanarossa Airport, with local buses taking 1.5 hours. As Noto is predominantly pedestrianised, the best way to explore is by foot.