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Noto

Architecture

Our most recommended Noto Architecture Tours

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

1. 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.”

Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto Transfer and Tour

2. 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. 

From Catania: Syracuse and Noto Culture and History Tour

3. From Catania: Syracuse and Noto Culture and History Tour

Discover two of the most beautiful cities in Sicily on this guided history and culture tour of Syracuse and Noto. Syracuse is a UNESCO World Heritage Site while Noto is considered the most beautiful city of Sicilian Baroque. See Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortigia, and more. Meet your guides who will lead to the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, an area rich in archaeological finds belonging to several periods of Syracusan history. Later, continue on the island of Ortigia, the historic center of Syracuse. Walk through alleys that are over 2000 years old and full of history. See the spectacular cathedral. Then, head to the historic center of Noto that's called the stone garden due to the architectural beauty of its palaces. See why this place is considered to have some of the most beautiful examples of Sicilian Baroque. After experiencing Syracuse and Noto, get transferred back to your pickup location.

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

4. 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.

Syracuse and Noto Full-Day Tour

5. 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.

Catania: Noto, Modica and Ragusa Ibla Baroque Tour

6. Catania: Noto, Modica and Ragusa Ibla Baroque Tour

The Sicilian baroque is an icon in the area known as Val di Noto. After the devastating earthquake of 1693, these places were rebuilt with this style of decorations. Discover the rich of ghostly masks and elaborate stone carvings. First discover Noto, the capital of Sicilian baroque. Walk among the wonderful buildings of the Garden of Stone and admire the elegance and sinuosity of the architectural elements. The itinerary continues towards Modica, a city of ancient origins and with an excellent culinary tradition. Taste the different varieties of Modica chocolate, famous and known throughout the world. Ragusa Ibla completes the full immersion in the Baroque with its characteristic alleys, opulent buildings and Iblei gardens.

Noto, Modica and Ragusa: The Baroque Tour from Catania

7. 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.

From Syracuse: Ragusa Ibla, Noto and Modica Private Day Trip

8. From Syracuse: Ragusa Ibla, Noto and Modica Private Day Trip

Journey through the Sicilian baroque on a private day tour from Syracuse. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Ragusa Ibla, Modica, and Noto on walking tours with a local guide. See the Duomo of San Giorgio, the Church of San Giorgio, the Church of San Pietro, and more. After pickup in Syracuse, make your first stop in the old Baroque city of Ragusa Ibla. Admire numerous 18th-century churches and buildings on which important sculptors and architects worked. Hear about the famous "Baroque of the Noto Valley," of which the Duomo of San Giorgio is the most representative expression.  Next, discover another jewel of the Sicilian Baroque: Modica. Stroll through the town and admire its churches, noble palace facades, fountains, the Pizzo viewpoint, San Giorgio Church, San Pietro Church, and the ruins of the castle. From there, continue toward the capital of Baroque: Noto. Walk around the city and marvel at its historic palaces, churches, terraces, and stairways, all built with a local stone with a golden color. Visit the Porta Reale — the real city gate — and the Cathedral of San Nicolò. See the most important building in the town, the Palazzo Ducezio, before continuing on a few steps to the Via Nicolaci, famous throughout the world for its "infiorata," or flower carpets.

Noto: Guided Historical Walking Tour with a Local

9. Noto: Guided Historical Walking Tour with a Local

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!

Noto: Sicilian Baroque Architecture Guided Walking Tour

10. Noto: Sicilian Baroque Architecture Guided Walking Tour

The guided tour of Noto will take you back to the Baroque era with its buildings embellished with decorations, stairways and statues like a stone garden and having become the capital of Sicilian Baroque. The guided tour starts from the entrance door to the historic center, the Porta Reale or Porta Ferdinandea, near the Church of St. Francis of Assisi and the nearby Convent of the Holy Savior. We go up the beautiful staircase to be able to admire one of the most beautiful interiors in Noto, with wonderful frescoes and decorations. Walking along the main street, a few steps away we find another beautiful church in which the Baroque style is very recognizable especially inside: we are talking about the Church of Santa Chiara next to a former Benedictine monastery, where you can admire the columns embellished with stuccoes, statues of the apostles and putti. The tour continues arriving in the Piazza del Duomo which houses the majestic Palazzo Ducezio, seat of the Town Hall, built between the 18th and 19th centuries, with its frescoed roof and rooms in which the mirrors create games of visual illusions that make them more large. In front of this baroque-style jewel stands the monumental staircase that leads to the stupendous Cathedral of S. Nicolò, the very symbol of Noto with its honey color that characterizes it at sunset and which we will visit inside. Built in the eighteenth century, it has collapsed three times over time, it has been rebuilt even if many frescoes have been lost; the beautiful facade has two bell towers, one housing a bell while the other has a clock. We continue the visit reaching another well-known symbolic place, namely Via Nicolaci, the street where the infiorata is set up (a carpet of flowers lying on the road) which attracts many tourists and we will also visit externally from some of the most beautiful buildings in Noto. One of these palaces for sure is Palazzo Nicolaci with its beautiful and famous balconies decorated in the lower part with statues, masks, animals and various figures carved in the limestone in the typical Baroque style. Walking through the alleys of the historic center we can admire the Loggia del Mercato which was once the seat of the Noto market with the wrought iron loggia and today used for cultural events. We end the guided tour by discovering the elegant building that houses the Tina di Lorenzo Theater in neoclassical style and the marble Fountain of Hercules built in the 1700s.

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What people are saying about Noto

Overall rating

4.3 / 5

based on 106 reviews

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.

it was an amazing trip. we visited very beautiful places and the tourguide gave very interesting explanations.

Our guide Giuseppe is knowledgeable, caring and fun. The tour was perfect.