Noto was rebuilt on the hill of Meti, which offers a great view over the plains of the river Tellaro and the coast. Rebuilt in two different clusters, Noto is divided in low and high.
The first, more elegant, would accommodate the religious and political authorities, while the second would house the people. The main street is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, interrupted by three squares, including the Town Hall Square, the heart of the historic center. The historic center can be accessed from the east, from Viale Marconi passing through the Porta Reale.
The floral display
For over thirty years the “Infiorata” has been a tradition for the third weekend in May, when in via Nicolaci are exhibited the works of floral artists: either reproductions of famous paintings or original drawings, it doesn’t really matters…what matters is that they are all created by the genius of its own creator using flower petals.
The celebration has now turned into a major event: the city welcomes tourists and visitors who invade the streets of Noto to admire these true and real works of art, a triumph of colors and scents without equal.
Those who decide to book some accommodation in the city will do well to do it with a few weeks in advance.
Historical Background of Noto
The first human settlements in the area date to the Sicilians in the prehistoric period. In a long period of time over five centuries, few small villages emerged, such as the “Civilta’ di Castelluccio” and the “Cultura del Finocchito”, made famous in antiquity for the manufacture of cloth and ceramics.
During the advent of the Greeks the city began a steady economic and population growth, but it was after the arrival of the Romans that Noto distinguished itself from the other towns of southern Sicily: in fact it was proclaimed a federated city of the Empire, like Taormina and Messina.
After the Arab conquest, Noto increased its prestige and became a center of primary importance not only in Sicily, but of the entire Mediterranean basin. Sicily in fact, was divided into three different administrative areas and Noto was placed at the head of the south-east: the Val di Noto.
But it was after the earthquake of 1693 that Noto radically changed its story. Razed to the ground by the earthquake, the reconstruction of the city happened at about fifteen kilometers from the previous settlement.
The urban project made use of foreign engineers and the construction of the buildings was entrusted to the best local labor. The ensuing result is still clearly visible today: the most exciting urban-architectural expression of Sicilian Baroque.
Noto by Night
The atmosphere of Noto is ideal for those looking for a quiet evening in an elegant resort. A walk in the “Corso” is ideal for couples and families, while enjoying a delicious ice cream, product of very skilled local artisans.
The restaurants however, offer excellent cuisine, combining quality with affordable price. Not infrequently there are concerts, parades and folk performances to enliven the carefree evenings of Noto, a beautiful and elegant city of Sicily.