Posted by: Debra Kolkka | July 24, 2016

Noto, Baroque theme park, Sicily

Noto is famous for its fine buildings of the early 18th century, many of which are considered to be among the finest examples of Sicilian Baroque style.

The town’s striking architecture is due to an earthquake that struck Sicily in 1693. The old town was completely destroyed and the new town was built several kilometres away.

The entrance to the Baroque section of the town is through Porta Reale.

Noto Sicily

It leads to the Main Street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which is lined with amazing buildings.

Noto Sicily

There was a sign which gave an excellent description of the town.

Cesare Brandi, an art historian, defined Noto “The stone garden”. About 50 churches and religious institutes, 15 noble palaces, residences of ancient aristocrats, are the flowers of this garden. 

The Baroque dwells in the town; it is splendid and conceited in the historic centre, tender and almost elusive in the high area of the town and in its characteristic quarters. There are many climbs, many staircases and some streets which are less large than one metre. Let curiosity guide you and Noto will show you itself”.

We let our curiosity guide us.

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

As in all Italian towns, we came across a group of older gentlemen sitting together solving the problems of the world.

Noto Sicily

The one thing I was not prepared for was the crowds. We arrived early in the morning, which was just as well. It was already busy and a steady stream of buses were dropping hoards of people into the town.

Noto Sicily

Noto Sicily

I also admit to not having much interest on Baroque buildings as it turns out. I can see that the buildings are stunning, but there are other eras I prefer.

We covered most of the town and got out before we were completely swamped by tour groups. We were there in mid April, long before tourist season. It must be hell in summer.


  1. Have to agree with you though I can admire Baroque it isn’t my favourite era in architecture either.. Loved the fact you had perfect blue skies – great pictures – interesting post.

    • It was a beautiful day. We went on to another Baroque town which I preferred…more on that soon.

      • Ragusa?

      • We went to Ragusa, which was lovely. There is another that we liked even better. I will be the next post.

  2. Ah, Noto is a place I would love to see
    (ever since reading ‘To Noto or London to Sicily in a Ford’ by Duncan Fallowell)….but clearly March or maybe October would be the safest bet….

    • It was interesting, but not my favourite place in Sicily.

      • Fair enough! But I think it would interest me, just need to work out when it might not be too crowded….

      • As far away from peak season as possible.

      • OK!

  3. Reminds me of Napier where an earthquake wiped out the entire town but that was during the Art Deco period — a stunning architectural era

    • Helsinki was destroyed by fire and the city was rebuilt during the Art Nouveau period…wonderful.

  4. I agree with you. Baroque architecture isn’t my favorite, either, but Noto’s buildings were particularly attractive. I also took a number of tours there and enjoyed the insides as well. However, I visited in December and it was empty, except for those same old men cogitating on the issues of the day.

    • The buildings are very attractive, but the place really did remind me of a theme park. We went to 2 other towns with Baroque buildings and I liked them much better.

  5. Love the photo of the old men’s chat group. 🙂

    • It happens all over Italy…I love it.

  6. I very much enjoyed your post on Sicily, a place that I haven’t visited in Italy in all our years of traveling. I can’t believe how many people were visiting in April…the tourist season seems to be getting longer and longer.

    • Sicily is amazing. Most of it is very beautiful. We drove around the island in spring and found the countryside gorgeous. This summer they have had very high temperatures and fires. I think we went at the right time.

      • We have been thinking of returning to Italy next year and was thinking of May…if we go, perhaps April would be better.

      • April and May are both good months to visit, spring is a gorgeous time. April can be wet, although this year April was warm and dry and it rained most of May, so nothing is certain. There are fewer crowds than later on and it is not too cold or hot.

      • Thank you Debra, I appreciate your input. 🙂

  7. For me baroque is beautiful both musically and architecturally.

    • I like the architecture, but as I said, I like other eras much better. I think it was the crowds and the theme park atmosphere I didn’t like here.

  8. Perhaps the devastating earthquake was a blessing in disguise as it allowed for the building of these Flamboyant Baroque beauties which look great there. I must confess that I am a fan of the Sicilian Baroque… In case you had not noticed…..

    • The buildings are beautiful and I liked them much better in other places.

  9. […] When I told my good friend, Luis,  from Paris Boheme, that we were going to Sicily he said we must visit Scicli. He spent many happy summers there when he was a child. So we made a point of looking for Scicli when we left nearby Noto. […]

  10. Noto is a place I would love to see
    (ever since reading ‘To Noto or London to Sicily in a Ford’ by Duncan Fallowell)

  11. […] Debra of Bagni di Lucca; Noto, Baroque Theme Park, Sicily : DG MARYOGA of My Space in the Immense Universe : […]

  12. […] and and we were so glad he did. It is one of the Baroque towns in southern Sicily including Noto and Ragusa…Scicli was our […]

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