In 2002 this picturesque village and the surrounding valley were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The entire city of Noto was relocated in 1693 when a major earthquake that devastated most of Sicily completely leveled the town. This led the villagers to construct an entirely new city. This explains Noto's careful design and architectural harmony.


    Noto's main attraction is the architectural splendor of the city itself. It is extremely pleasant to stroll aimlessly amidst the wonderful baroque houses and buildings. A small fee gains you admission to some of the buildings to give you a chance to see the splendor from the inside. These include the Duomo, a grand cathedral; the Palazzo Ducezio (1 euro) with its palatial hall of mirrors; the Palazzo Nicolaci with its splendid balconies; and the Chiesi di San Carlo, where you can climb its spiral staircase for views of the city.

Getting There

    The best way to see Noto is by driving from Syracuse. Signs from the center of town should point you in the right direction. The city is located about half an hour southwest of Syracuse. Alternately, you can take a bus from Syracuse. Two bus companies, Interbus and AST, run routes to Noto, stopping near the public gardens on the east side of town.