The history and nature in and around Noto offer an extensive range of activities that serve the diverse interests of visitors throughout the year.
CASA SICILIANA has prepared for you a sample 14-day itinerary which can help planning your days while staying in Noto.
Day 1 - Noto
- 15-18 CHECK-IN.
- 18:30 WALK ALONG “CORSO” AND HAVING A DRINK. Noto is the single best example of baroque urban planning in existence. To get a first feeling of this unique atmosphere, go on “u passiu”, strolling back and forth along the main street of Noto, Corso Vittorio Emanuele. You can stop at at Terrazza Gagliardi for a special cocktail to enjoy the fascinating view of the historical center and to watch the sun-dance on beautiful “pietra di Noto”, the stone which is the symbol of baroque Sicily’s timeless beauty.
- 20:30 DINNER . You can try Dammuso Restaurant or one of the recommended restaurants, trattorias or delicatessen shops.
Day 2 - Noto / Vendicari
- 9:00 BREAKFAST. Try Café Sicilia, a compulsory stop at Noto, to taste the creations of master Corrado Assenza. You should not leave Noto without having tried cannolo (with ricotta), cassata, granita and “schiumone”.
- 10:00 NATURAL RESERVE OF VENDICARI. By only a 10 km ride from Noto, you are at the “Wildlife Oasis of Vendicari” whose territory extends to 1512 hectares. Inside the reserve, an entire ecosystem lives undisturbed. You will find yourself frequently in front of breath-taking landscapes, dense vegetation that suddenly opens to a clear sea, very long and golden beaches, that in a few hundred meters become rocky cliffs and then deep sea.
- 13:00 LUNCH. You can have your lunch at Baglietto, a relaxing and typical small house with a courtyard (baglio, as named in Sicily) at the gates of the Reserve, which serves truly Sicilian tastes in the shade of its olive trees. You can try the pasta which is handmade with the grain grown in the surrounding fields as well as the beer of the house, “Vendicari”.
- 14: 30-16: 30 Rest.
- 17:00 A TOUR OF NOTO CHURCHES. You can get valuable information about the city and the churches by taking a tour organized by the Tourism Office which is located by Palazzo Ducezio (the town hall). Inside the churches, there are local attendants of the church foundationes, who offer their free guidence as you buy the entrance ticket. You should definitely climb to the bell tower of the Church of San Carlo for a spectacular view of the baroque town.
- 20:00 DINNER. You can try Manna Restaurant for an elegant dinner with modern interpretation of local tastes or sit at its neighbour, Il Libertyno, particularly for Sicilian burgers accompanied by excellent drinks.
Day 3 - Noto / Calamosche
- 9:00 BREAKFAST.
- 10:00 CALAMOSCHE BEACH. By a ride of 8 km, you are at Calamosche which considered as one of the most beautifiul beaches in Italy.
- 13:00 LUNCH. You can choose Datterino Restaurant at Scilla Maris to taste reinterpreted local cuisine.
- 14:30-16:30 Why not having a rest by the pool of Scilla Maris?
- 17:00 VISIT NICOLACI OF VILLADORATA PALACE.
- 18:00 CONTINUE TO DISCOVER NOTO. You need only one ticket to visit “Mirror Room” of Ducezio Palace, Vittorio Emanuele Theather and the Monastery of Santa Chiara.
- 19:30 WALK ALONG THE CAVOUR STREET. The Cavour Street hosts the fantastic baroque palaces built by noble families during the eighteenth century. You could also walk through the ancient adjacent popular neighborhoods Agliastrello and Mannarazze.
- 20:30 DINNER. You can choose Vicari Restaurant or have a tasting of the local cheeses, cold meats accompanied by a local wine or an artisanal beer at S’abbinirica.
Day 4 - Noto / S. Lorenzo / Marzamemi
- 9:00 BREAKFAST.
- 10:00 STOP AT CASA ROSSA ON YOUR WAY TO THE BEACH. Casa Rossa is a natural stop for locals on their way to the beach. Get your take-away lunch. Do not forget to buy the famous seasoned bread, “u pani cunzato”.
- 10:30 SAN LORENZO BEACH. Located only 15 km from Noto, San Lorenzo is a very charming beach of fine sand and a turquoise sea. Its shores allow even children to enjoy the sea without any danger.
- 16:30 VISIT CANTINA MARILINA Visit Cantina Marilina to taste organic wine from native grapes, such as Nero d’Avola. It is very close to San Lorenzo: only 3 km.
- 18:30 MARZAMEMI. Walk along the streets of the historical center until the main square of the ancient fishermen village. The atmosphere is really magical at sunset! Distance: very close to San Lorenzo: about 3 km.
- 19:30 APERITIF TIME. Relax at Liccamuciula as you take sips from your drink and watch the other people enjoying themselves at the main square of Marzamemi.
- 20:30 VISIT A LOCAL FOOD STORE. Campisi Store at Marzamemi offers a very wide range of local products for sale and tasting. Try the Romana almond of Noto and the Pizzuta almond of Avola to see which one you like better. Do not forget to taste/buy some Ciliegino tomato of Pachino.
Day 5 - Noto / Portopalo
- 9:30 BREAKFAST.
- 10:30 TOUR IN “APE” CAR. Take a tour in Ape Car driven by the very entertaining Corradino along the streets of Noto to discover also the upper part of the city, Cianazzu.
- 12:30 ARANCINO TIME. It’s time to eat Arancino or Arancina! This delicious big fried rice balls take different genus (males or female), different characteristics, shapes and flavor from region to region in Sicily. Just ike cannolo and granite. In Noto, the most popular arancina addresses are Piero and Palermitano. Both are located at XVI Maggio Square (Piazzetta Ercole).
- 15:30 THE CARRATOIS BEACH. A beautiful and unspoiled beach.. Distance from Noto: about 25 km.
- 17:30 ISLAND OF THE CURRENTS. The Island of the Currents is located at the extreme tip of Sicily and Europe where the Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea meet. A short walk (1 km.) from the Island of Currents, on the beach of Carratois with the background of white and soft dunes, you can observe magical sunsets.
- 19:30 APERITIF AND/OR DINNER. Watch the sunset Castle Tafuri whose terrace overlooks the sea and the ruins of the old Tonnara (the tuna factory). It is only 8 km from the Island of the Currents.
Day 6 - Tour by BOAT
- 7:30 BREAKFAST.
- 8:00 TOUR BY BOAT. Departure and arrival deck of the boats offering half-day tours is at Port of Marzamemi. Note that you need to book your tickets. Those who want to experience fishing can go fishing with local fishermen. The time to go fishing is early, i.e., around 6:30 or 7:00. The Port of Marzamemi is 18 km. from Noto.
- 13:30 CITTADELLA DEI MACCARI BEACH. Enjoy the wild beauty of Citadella dei Maccari and have a modest yet delicious lunch at Bar Africa. Try the cous cous with vegetables, eggplant meatballs and fried calamars. Its distance from Marzamemi is 6 km.
- 17:30 VISIT TO THE MOSAIC OF THE TELLAR. A recent discovery of the archeological treasures of Sicily, Villa Romana del Tellaro, is decorated with extremely refined mosaics on the floor of a ruined farmhouse which was built in the baroque period. Distance from Cittadella: 12 km.
- 19:00 VISIT TO BUFALEFI WINERY. Have a tasting of the wines and the typical products. Meet Baron Alessandro Modica who is one of the heirs of the winery. The winery is next to the Mosaics of the Tellar.
Day 7 - Noto Mountain Area
- 9:00 BREAKFAST.
- 9:30 Visit the SANCTUARY OF SAINT CORRADO FUORI LE MURA. Visit the SANCTUARY OF SAINT CORRADO FUORI LE MURA
The Church of San Corrado is 5 km far from the city centre of Noto, located in the scenic Valley of the Miracles. It is an eighteenth century sanctuary built on the site where S. Corrado Confalonieri, the patron of the city lived. The cave where he spent half of his life is open to visitors.
- 10:30 Visit the SANCTUARY OF SAINT MARIA SCALA DEL PARADISO. The church of Santa Maria Scala del Paradiso is a diocesan sanctuary where it is venerated the miraculous image of Santa Maria Scala del Paradiso, co-patron of the Diocese of Noto. It is 15 km from Noto and 20 km from the Church of San Corrado.
- 11:30 Visit ANCIENT NOTO. Visit ancient Noto on the Alveria Mountain and walk along the streets of the ancient medieval town, razed to the ground by the devastating earthquake of 1693. Visit the Carosello Cave and the remains of the prehistoric age. Distance from Noto: 3 km.
- 13:00 TASTING OF CHEESE AND LOCAL PRODUCTS. Visit the family farm of the young Concetto Scardaci, at which cheeses are made from raw milk using traditional techniques. Try the local cheeses such as Belìce Vastedda, Canestrato, Maiorchino, Nebrodi Provola, Fiore Sicano.
- 15:30 Visit CASTELLUCCIO. The settlement of the oldest prehistoric Sicilian population (2000 BC), Castelluccio, is a magical area where the silence and its magical charm embrace you. Distance from Noto is15 km.
- 16:30 Visit NATURAL RESERVE OF CAVAGRANDE. Cavagrande is a huge natural reserve which surrounds the canyon formed by the little Cassibile River. The Canyon is about 10 Km long and has steep stone walls. Distance from Noto: 25 km.
- 20:30 DINNER. You can choose to have your dinner at Masseria Degli Ulivi in Villa Vela, which serves traditional cuisine. Distance Noto is 9 km.
Day 8 - Iblei Mounts
PALAZZOLO ACREIDE / BUSCEMI / BUCCHERI
- 8:30 BREAKFAST
- 9:30 PALAZZOLO ACREIDE. Visit to the old town and the Greek theater of Akrai and the remains of the Greek city. Take a break at the bakery Corsino or Caprice. Distance from Noto: 30 km..
- 12:30 LUNCH. Stop at the Restaurant Da Andrea, Sapori Montani. You should try a dish with the black truffle of Palazzolo.
- 15:00 BUSCEMI and BUCCHERI. Visit to the historical centers of these two small towns. You can learn a lot about the Sicilian rural farming culture at the small farming museums. Distance from Palazzolo to Buscemi: 9 km. Distance from Buscemi to Buccheri: 9 km.
- 17:00 VISIT Terraliva Farm. Situated 6 km out of Buccheri, the Terraliva olive tree farm is the producer of intense and fruity olive oil which is organically produced. Taste their award-winning oils.
- 20:30 DINNER. If you feel like having dinner at Buccheri, U Locale Tavern is a nice trattoria to have good traditional dishes. Or you can go back to Noto for a large variety of options. Fell like pizza? Esperia is a fine option.
Day 9 - Syracuse
- 8:30 BREAKFAST.
- 9:30 NATURAL RESERVE OF PLEMMIRIO. A real paradise…Along 15 kilometers of coastline, the sea waters show a wide variety of colours, ranging from emerald green to turquoise blue, with a thousand shades. Its distance from Noto is 35 km.
- 11:30 SIRACUSA. Go around in the island of Ortigia. Walk along the coast and the characteristic narrow alleys of the island’s quarters. You should visit the market of Ortigia. You can have lunch at Caseificio Bordieri and visit Paolo Orsi Museum, Greek Theater, Dionysius Ear and Latomie dei Cappuccini. Distance from Noto: 40 km.
- 20:30 DINNER. You can have dinner at one of the many elegant restaurants in Siracusa, such as Monzù Sicily at the Minerva Square or Regina Lucia at Piazza Duomo or Don Camillo on the Delle Maestranze street. Prefer to go back to Noto? Then you try one of the most hip places of the city: Anche gli Angeli.
Day 10 - Ragusa / Modica / Scicli
- 8:00 BREAKFAST.
- 9:30 SAMPIERI and CAVA D’ALIGA. Sampieri is a picturesque old fishing village whose stone houses jostled with one another, bordering a maze of narrow streets. Distance from Noto: about 40 km. You can find golden sand beaches interspersed with reefs at Cava d’Aliga. Distance from Sampieri: 4 km.
- 11:30 RAGUSA IBLA. Visit the old town. You should see the Basilica di San Giorgio, The Hyblean Gardens, the Chiesa di Maria delle ScaleDistance. Distance from Cava d’Aliga: 40 km. Distance from Noto: 50 km.
- 13:00 LUNCH. If you choose I Banchi, make sure that you try the typical focaccia of the region!
- 14:30 MODICA. Visit the old town. It is a must to taste the Modica chocolate either at the Chocolate Museum in Modica or at one of the many chocolate stores in the town. Distance from Ragusa Ibla: 13 km.
- 18:00 SCICLI. Visit the old town. For a change of pace, you can see the elegant and distinctive modern art gallery Quam at its beautiful space with high vaulted ceilings. Distance from Modica: 10 km
- 21:30 DINNER. Back to Noto? Try the pizzeria L’Orto di S. Chiara where you can also taste the handmade beer of the house, Passo di Miele, with honey of zagara.
Day 11 - Pantalica / Etna
- 7:30 BREAKFAST.
- 9:00 PANTALICA. Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica is one of Sicily’s many UNESCO Heritage Sites. You can take a guided tour to see the remains of the prehistoric civilization. Distance from Noto: 55 km.
- 12:00 ETNA. Discover the highest active volcano in Europe, through nature and flavours, ancient craters and lava flows, lunar landscapes and lush forests, houses surrounded by lava and breathtaking views. Water after fire: you can visit the Alcantara Gorges, a unique set of meandering cliffs created by about 300,000 years ago. You can take a guided quad tour. Distance from Pantalica: 120 km.
- 14:00 LUNCH. Rifugio Sapienza is an option. You can rest and enjoy the typical Sicilian recipes.
- 18:00 BRONTE. Walk in the city with agricultural roots sprawling along the base of Mount Etna. You should taste “Bronte pistachio”. Distance from Etna: 50 km. Distance from Alcantara Gorges: 40 km.
- 20:00 DINNER. If you choose Locanda Nerello of Monaci delle Terre Nere at Zafferana Etnea, you should try the bread which is made with two ancient Sicilian wheat varieties and baked in brick oven. Distance from Bronte: 55 km.
If you prefer to go back to Noto, you can have your dinner at Il Cantuccio where you can relax in the quiet courtyard. A Mastra for a good pasta with clams and mussels is also a good option.
Day 12 - Agrigento / Caltagirone / Piazza Armerina
- 7:00 BREAKFAST
- 10/10: 30 SCALA DEI TURCHI AND AGRIGENTO: Scala dei Turchi is a white cliff located along the stretch of sea between Realmonte and Porto Empedocle (Agrigento). The nature, as a great sculpturist, has worked on the rock which is made of a soft, limestone and a blinding white marl. Distance from Noto: about 250 km. The archaeological area of Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples, is a must to see. Its history goes back to a Greek colony in year 6 BC. Distance from Scala dei Turchi to Agrigento: about 15 km.
- 13:30 LUNCH. In Agrigento, you can walk at the historical center and then enjoy a good arancino or “pane e panelle” in Sicul.
- 15:30 PIAZZA ARMERINA. Visit to the Villa Romana del Casale with the splendid mosaics of Roman times. Distance from Agrigento: about 100 km.
- 18:00 CALTAGIRONE. The culture of ceramics is what distinguishes Caltagirone from other towns in Sicily. Walk along the streets of the center where you can see the creations of the ceramic masters. Distance from Piazza Armerina: 30 km.
- 21:30 DINNER. Tonight, at Casa Matta, you can eat a good pizza or a crudité of red prawns from Mazzara.
Day 13 - Agrigento / Caltagirone / Catania
- 8:00 BREAKFAST
- 9:30 CATANIA. An ideal starting point to visit the city is Piazza Duomo. Lots to see.. palaces, monuments, archeological sites.. Make sure to visit the ancient fish market and to walk along the streets of the old town. For a short rest for your legs and a fiest for your stomach: have one of the best Arancini with ragù or with eggplants in Savia! Distance from Noto: about 100 km.
- 16:00 SAN GIOVANNI LI CUTI. A unique beach with black volcanic sand and rocks. Have a coffee and jump into the sea. Distance from Catania: 3 km.
- 17:30 ACI TREZZA. This seaside town maintains a unique charm with its clear waters of the sea heaving themselves onto ridges of lava stone, Faraglioni, in the shadows of the Norman castle. Distance from your position: 9 km.
- 20:00 DINNER. How about trying the elegant restaurant Il Crocifisso at Cianazzu?
Day 14 - Noto
- 8:00 BREAKFAST.
- 10: 30 CHECK-OUT. For those who have time until afternoon to leave Noto, a last dip into the sea at the Gelcomineto Beach would be great.. Distance from Noto: only 15 km.