Known as "the Famous one", "the Learned one", " the Ingenious one", and also as "Urbs nunquam vi capta", Noto, was reconstructed after the 1693 earthquake on the Meti hill.
The ancient site, a centre of art and culture, named Neaton, under the Greek civilization, Netum in the Roman age and finally Noto, became "Chief Town of the Valley" under the Arabic dominion. Then, the Norman , Swabian, Aragonese and Spanish rule followed one another.
The reconstruction was made by stone cutters, master builders, artisans, under the direction of the famous masters Gagliardi, Sinatra, Labisi, who created this "Garden of stone", as Cesare Brandì defined it, from which a masterpiece of urbanism and architecture was born.
Such artisans wisely worked a tender sandstone tuff that, exposed to the sun, has admirably become honey coloured. They carved corbels, capitals, columns, precious friezes and putti, and so conferred to spaces and volumes unusual harmonic characteristics. Convents, churches, monasteries, palaces, are the result of this art. Also the popular districts of Islamic inspiration must be mentioned: "Agliastrello", "Mannarazze", "Pianalto". The style is unique and is known as "the Baroque of Noto"
On entering the city, for some years a "World Heritage of the Humanity" and acknowledged site of UNESCO, the Royal gate has to be passed through. It was built in 1838 to honour the visit to the city of Ferdinando II of Bourbon, after which Vittorio Emanuele III Street starts, which is the main street of the city, along which the greatest Baroque monuments can be admired.
The Church of St. Francesco all'Immacolata rises immediately to the right, close to which the ex convent of the Franciscans can be found, which represents an admirable architectural complex of the eighteenth-century Noto. A Madonna, attributed to Monachello and a tombstone of Bonasia, coming from Ancient Noto are kept there.
A little further in the Basilica of the Saviour, with the attached Benedictine Monastery, where the magnificent Tower of the Belvedere and the thirteen windows surmounted by battlements of stone enclosed by shutters and gratings stand out. Inside the Basilica, there are, on the vault, the painter's frescos by Mazza, from Noto, and some canvases attributed to Velasco, dated 1808, and a handicraft organ, by Del Piano.
Continuing along Vittorio Emanuele Street , the Church of Saint Chiara , built in 1735 by Gagliardi, can be admired. The inside, characterised by its precious oval plant, circumscribed by twelve columns, preserves a Madonna with her Child, attributed to Gagini (XVIth century) and an 1854 painting by Lo Forte, representing St. Benedetto and the Scholastic Saint.
Further on, the Town Hall in Ducezio Palace , a 1748 superb construction, in the "area maioris ecclesiae", planned by Sinatra, can be seen. On the vault of the "Entertainment Hall", a fresco, by Mazza, representing "Ducezio, the king of the Sicilians, who is founding the ancient Neas". Opposite to it, the Church of St. Nicolò, completed in 1776, stands, with an interesting façade, enclosed by two bell towers, in which bronze portal, by the sculptor G. Pirrone,1982, is evident. It is the gretest example of eighteenth-century architectural scenography, rising on an imposing flight of steps, in area maioris ecclesiae square, also said the Town hall. Inside, the sixteenth-century silver Urn of St. Corrado Confalonieri, the Patron Saint of the City, is situated; in the side chapels a St. Michele by Gagini and a Madonna with the Child of the XVIth century, coming from Ancient Noto, can be observed. The second chapel is devoted to the Blessed Sacrament and is decorated with refined stuccoes, by the sculptor Giuliano from Palazzolo. After the structural trouble, caused by the earthquake of December 13th 1990, and because of the insistent winter rain, the dome of the church collapsed, on March 13th 1996, causing immense damages to the whole structure and the artistic and cultural heritage of the city of Noto , named by the European Community "The Capital of Baroque".
Adjacent to the Cathedral there is the Archbishop's Palace, built in the last century, and, on the left, the Palace of Saint Alfano, (Landolina), built in 1730, can be observed.
In the slope nearby, Nicolaci Palace , with suggestive balconies supported by grotesque figures of original Baroque style, can be admired. At the end of the slope, the spectacular Church of Montevergine , attributed to Vincent Sinatra (1748), can be found. Inside it, a precious altar of polychrome marbles of notable sculptural quality and four valuable paintings, attributed to Carasi, one of which, is the Pity of 1772.
Opposite Nicolaci Street, there are the Church of St. Carlo Borromeo and the ex College of the Jesuits of 1730, rich of openings and friezes, with the vault decorated with frescos, attributed to the Carasi.
Then, in Vittorio Emanuele III Street , there is the Church of St. Domenico , with the attached Convent, attributed to Gagliardi (1737), a masterpiece, defined "the Baroque jewel".
The main street ends in the Town Theatre, a late 19th century construction, whose façade is surmounted by symbolic statues and musical bas-reliefs, woven with floral scenes, after the Liberty style.
Our three star superior category Bed and Breakfast is regularly authorized by the A.A.P.I.T. of Syracuse , with licence n. 465 of 30/11/2005. It is situated in the historical centre and precisely in the "Mannarazze" district, and realized in a pleasant residence refurbished at the beginning of 2005. The rooms are equipped with all comforts: air conditioning, heating, private bathroom, hairdrier, tv, refrigerator, and the use of the kitchen, on request. All that aims at making the guests' stay pleasant.
The short distance from the architectural centre of the city, allows our guests to easily park their own vehicle and to reach in three minutes' walk the greatest monuments in the "European Capital of Baroque".
Our guests are welcomed respecting the renown tradition of Sicilian hospitality. The residence has got a comfortable terrace with a fine view, contiguous to Fiaccavento Park , which allows our guests a nice and relaxing stay. Our spacious and sunny rooms and services are cleaned daily. Our only interest is to make your stay pleasant, so that you can come and see us again.
From our B&B, you can easily reach our coasts, whose sea has been given by "Lega Ambiente" 5 Blue Sails. The clean and golden beaches are 5 kms away from Noto; the beach of Eloro, with the ruins of the Greek Colony, is 6 kms away, the beach of Calamosche, defined by the environmentalists "the most beautiful beach in Italy" (7 kms); the famous "Nature oasis of Vendicari" (9 kms), with its tunny-fising place and Bourbon blockhouse, in whose beach the sea turtles lay their eggs.
Continuing toward Capopassero, a stop in Marzamemi is worth while, a small and famous dock of Fishermen full of restaurants, pubs, pizzerias and tourist shops. Then, driving to Portopalo the wonderful " Island of the Tides" can be reached.
For those who prefer cultural visits, you can enjoy pleasant trips to Syracuse or and see its Classical performances at the Greek Theatre.
To the south, in a few minutes, you can visit the "Baroque of the Valley of Noto ", which has classical expressions in the architectural monuments of Ragusa , Ragusa Ibla, Modica and Scicli, as well as in Palazzolo Acreide, where a small Greek Theatre can be found.
Very famous and of particular folk interest is the festival of Baroque Spring or "Flower Festival" of Nicolaci Street, held on the third Sunday of May. It is a spectacular carpet of flowers prepared by local artists. The festival proposes every year a different theme: ranging from religion, to mythology, to popular culture, etc...
We look forward to welcoming you with a pleasant stay typical of the famous Mediterranean warmth!