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Archaeology

Our most recommended Noto Archaeology

Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto Transfer and Tour

1. Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto Transfer and Tour

After being picked up from your accommodation in Catania, visit the magnificent Neapolis in Syracuse. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, this famous archaeological park houses a Greek theatre. With the help of a guide sheet, admire the impressive ruins of this stunning site.  After visiting Syracuse, journey to the lovely peninsula of Ortigia. Starting from the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, enjoy a gentle stroll to reach the spectacular white cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Take in this idyllic cathedral, before stopping off at the Fountain of Arethusa, a legendary fresh water spring. For lunch you have the option to enjoy a classic sicilian snack made of Tavola Calda, with water and red wine. Or, if you prefer, you will have 1 hour of free time to have lunch in one of the amazing restaurants in the alleys of the city. Upon reaching Noto, you will explore this jewel of Sicilian Baroque architecture, which is often considered to be an open-air museum! Admire the extraordinary architecture of its many palaces, churches and stairways. After an exhilarating day, sit back and relax as you are taken back to your hotel in the comfort of a luxurious vehicle. 

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

2. Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

Learn the ancient history of Sicily on a full-day sightseeing tour that takes you to the archaeological park of Neapolis where you can visit classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse at your own pace on a self-guided tour. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in Catania, transfer to the ruins of Syracuse, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk, discover many old Roman streets, as well as monuments such as the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks. Near the Greek Theatre, you will see the latomie, including the limestone cave known as the “Ear of Dyonisius,” as well as the Christian Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Admire the Amphitheatre of the Roman imperial age, and more. Then, continue to Ortygia Island to experience the historic heart of Syracuse. Located at the park’s eastern end, and separated by a narrow channel, Ortygia is filled with Greek temples, Christian churches, and Arabian streets. Visit the Arethusa fountain and Piazza del Duomo, where the baroque palaces, such as Beneventano del Bosco Palace and Senate Palace are among the most beautiful in Sicily. After lunch (own expense), go to the small town of Noto, noted for its unique style of Sicilian Baroque architecture, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wander the open-air museum and beautiful Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the many palaces and churches that, grouped together, are known as the “Stone Garden.”

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

3. From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

Enjoy three beautiful places in Sicily with this full-day tour from Catania. Listen to historical facts and facinating anecdotes with your audio guide as you stop at the Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortygia, and Noto.  Meet your driver in Duomo square in the center of Catania and sit back and relax in the comfortable van on the drive to the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse. Purchase tickets to the park to admire the magnificent Greek theater, Roman Amphitheater, and stone quarries. Continue to the ancient fortified island of Ortygia. Spend some time wandering the streets to discover the mythical Fountain of Arethusa, Piazza Duomo, the fortress walls, and stunning Baroque churches and palaces. Finally, drive to the town of Noto where you can discover the Sicilian capital of Baroque architecture. Have some free time to see sights like the Fountain of Hercules, and noble palaces like Palazzo Astuto and Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao. Return to the meeting point in Catania.

Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia, and Noto Guided Tour

4. Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia, and Noto Guided Tour

Starting from Catania or Taormina, the first stop of the tour will be Syracuse with its Neapolis, an archaeological park that houses within it important monuments of the Greek and Roman period, such as the Greek Theatre, the Latomie del Paradiso, the Ear of Dionysus and the Roman Amphitheatre. Immediately after you will visit Ortigia, the historical and cultural center of Syracuse, famous for the ruins of the first Greek buildings, such as the Temple of Apollo: the oldest Greek temple in Sicily, dating back to the sixth century BC. Arriving in Piazza Duomo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, you can visit the majestic Cathedral, the largest and most controversial monument, which stands on the highest point of the city. No less important is the Fountain Arethusa, a mirror of fresh water, located a few meters from the sea, linked to the mythological love story of the nymph Arethusa and the river Alfeo. After lunch, continue the tour with a visit to Noto, a true open-air museum, which has been awarded the title of Baroque capital of Sicily, for the characteristic narrow streets and the Baroque architecture of its palaces and churches, such as the majestic Cathedral, the Palazzo Nicolaci and the long Corso Vittorio Emanuele.

Palermo: Bus Tour to Noto, Ortigia, and Siracusa

5. Palermo: Bus Tour to Noto, Ortigia, and Siracusa

Explore the beauty of Sicily on this bus tour from Palermo. Be picked up from your accommodation and enjoy air-conditioned transfers to the town of Noto, the island of Ortigia, and and the Archaeological Park of Siracusa. Enjoy the convenience of being picked from Palermo in the morning. Sit back and relax on the comfortable drive to the town of Noto. Spend some time wandering through the town on your own to see sights like the 18th-century Noto Cathedral or the balconies of the Nicolaci Palace. Continue to the the island of Ortigia. Take some free time to buy lunch or see sights like the natural freshwater spring known as the Fountain of Arethusa or the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Cathedral of Syracuse. Finally, head to the Archaeological Park of Siracusa where you can purchase tickets to see the Greek theatre and the Roman amphitheater. Return to your accommodation in Palermo at the end of your tour.

Noto, Modica and Ragusa: The Baroque Tour from Catania

6. Noto, Modica and Ragusa: The Baroque Tour from Catania

The first stop on this 8-hour tour is Noto, the Garden of Stone, noted for its Baroque heritage. After the massive 1693 earthquake, Noto was rebuilt on Meti Hill. The town’s origins date to the Early Bronze Age. Continue to Modica and visit the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily. The city also has a rich history and a wonderful architectural heritage. See the cathedrals of San Giorgio and San Pietro and the Palazzo Polara and Palazzo Napolino-Tommasi Rosso, among others. Ragusa was added to the UNESCO World Heritage in 2002 for its monuments of the late Baroque period. Visit examples of this style including its cathedrals and palaces.

Syracuse and Noto Full-Day Tour

7. Syracuse and Noto Full-Day Tour

Explore the Greek history of Syracuse and see the remains of the temples of Apollo and Athena on the island of Ortygia. Visit the Greek theater, see the latomie (stone quarries) of Neapolis and discover the site of ancient Epipoli. Pass the cathedral, where the origins of the Greek Temple of Athena date back to the 5th century BC. Learn the legend of Arethusa, patron figure of Syracuse and get the chance to see paintings by Caravaggio in the Basilica of Santa Lucia.    Next, discover the "Garden of Stone" at Noto, renowned for its Baroque heritage and reconstruction on Meti Hill following an earthquake in 1693.

From Taormina: Siracusa & Noto Small-Group Tour

8. From Taormina: Siracusa & Noto Small-Group Tour

Start your day at 8:00 AM with a pickup from the pre-arranged meeting point in Taormina. Once you have enjoyed a pleasant meet-and-greet with your driver, head to Syracuse, taking in all the sights along the way.  Your first stop of the day will be the archaeological park of the Neapolis. Here, you'll be able to admire the site's Greek and Roman heritage by witnessing landmarks such as the Greek Theatre, the Ear of Dionysius and the Latomie. Afterwards, you will move to the lovely Ortigia Island, the historical centre of Syracuse which is connected to the city by a short bridge. Here, you will walk through the alleys and the squares of the old town discovering its landmarks, starting from the ruins of the temple of Apollo, to the Cathedral and the Arethusa Fountain. During your visit of Ortigia, a light lunch with local products will be offered; alternatively, you could decide to have lunch on your own. The last stop of your day will be Noto, which is considered the capital of the Sicilian Baroque. You will have 1-hour to visit the historical centre of the city by your self before enjoying your relaxing car ride back to Taormina by 7:00 - 7:30 PM.

Catania: Vendicari, Marzamemi and Noto Day Trip

9. Catania: Vendicari, Marzamemi and Noto Day Trip

Meet your local guide and enjoy comfortable air-conditioned transportation from Catania. The first stop will be the Natural Reserve of Vendicari, the most important wildlife oasis in Italy. Discover the beautiful beaches of fine sand and large saltwater marshes. Also, try to spot migratory birds and plant species that grow on the dunes and cliffs. The day continues with a stop in Marzamemi, a small fishing village looking out over the Ionian Sea. Visit the ruins of the Tonnara, an ancient structure used to catch tuna. Be delighted by a profusion of colors, flowers, old buildings and one photogenic spot after the other. Finally, visit Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque. Get lost in its charming squares and marvel at its churches, buildings, facades and balconies all heavily adorned in the traditional style.

Noto: Historical Walking Tour with a Local Guide

10. Noto: Historical Walking Tour with a Local Guide

The tour will take place in a small group and with the accompaniment of a qualified tour guide who will tell you about the events of the great earthquake that devastated the Val di Noto in 1693 and the reconstruction of the city, which lives again thanks to its unique monuments and distinctive architecture. The itinerary will start from the Royal Gate and leading to visit from the inside and most beautiful monumental churches that Noto has to offer. You will be able to admire the Church of San Francesco, the Church of the Immaculate Conception and the Church of Santa Chiara, after which you will go up the eccentric Via Nicolaci, famous for the Infiorata and the most beautiful Baroque balconies in Sicily. Finally you will reach the Fountain of Hercules, which inevitably refers to the hero of Greek mythology who, legend has it, is said to have founded several cities in Sicily. In addition to information regarding the monuments and places surrounding Noto, the guide will also advise you regarding the food and wine specialties of the area, which are not to be missed!

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What people are saying about Noto

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 188 reviews

Alessio is a crack. Attentive, very detailed in the explanations, with a great knowledge of everything we visited and also a nice person who made the trip entertaining and enjoyable. It gives you a lot of useful information, both about the cities you visit and about everything you ask or want to know about Sicily. The same if you want to have a good espresso…he knows where you should go. We were a group of 6 with him and the truth is that we traveled in luxury in the van. If I return to Sicily I will not hesitate to organize my excursions with him. It is a success and I recommend it 100%. Thank you Alessio for a great day.

A great experience, our guide was very friendly and helpful. We were picked up on time and saw some very nice sites. We enjoyed our day greatly and got to see 3 places in sicily which was quite convenient as we were there for only a short stay. Would definitely recommend this experience!

The locations are dreamlike - what a unique combination of art, culture, and nature! - and hardly accessible on one's own. Alessio, the professional guide, is fluent in an impressive amount of languages, knowledgeable, attentive, responsive and responsible. Highly recommended!

Giovanni is an excellent tour guide. No language barrier. Very informative about Sicily and its history, traditions and culture. I would highly recommend Giovanni.

It was a very exciting day and the guide was incredibly good at communicating and making the whole day an experience.