Noto, a Baroque city

Noto, Montevergine Church

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Noto is well-known all around the world as the capital city of the baroque style and it is beacuse of that it’s been recognized as Unesco Heritage.

Noto is located in the territory of SYracuse, east Sicily, and it’s easy to get to by car, driving on the highway A18 or A19; you can get there by train too, going to Siracuse first and then continuing with the local trains; you can also use the buses from A.S.T or Interbus companies. Also Noto is just 80 minutes away from the airport of Comiso (RG) and the Fontanarossa (CA) one.

Flights from Russia and England to Comiso and Fontanarossa

The best option to get to Noto is through the airport of Comiso and the Fontanarossa one. You can reach both of them from Great Britain with direct flights from anywhere in the country. Fontanarossa is the only connection from Russia to eastern Sicily, with direct flights from the cities of Moscow, St.Peterburg, Krasnodar and Soci.

Noto and the baroque

Noto is a jewel of the sicilian baroque style architecture, a photograph of that style so popular in the 1700 and that envelops the entire city. Sinuos lines, inventive contruction games, rich decorative themes, massive stairs and elaborated facades alternates without discontinuity. The local stone give life to cromatic phenomena that make the spectacular aspect of the buildings stand out, buildings made by the best workers of that time.

The town though owe its beauty to a catastrophe, the 1693 earthquake that destroyed Noto; the town was then rebuilt by the duke Giuseppe Lanza of Camastra. In the “must visit” list there are the St. Nicolò cathedral, the Churc of the St. Crucifix (Chiesa del Santissimo Crocifisso), the Church of St.Claire, the Church of St. Carl al Corso, Nicolaci Palace (Palazzo Nicolaci) and the Royal Gate (Porta Reale).

Noto Cathedral

Unesco Heritage

Unesco has recognized the towns of the Noto Valley (Val di Noto), plus Catania and Acireale, as heritage assets of humanity in 2002. The common rebuilding after the earthquake made Noto unique. The stylistic homogeneity, the recognizability of baroque at its acme in Europe, and the real prospect of another catastrophic event happening in the future were the reasons for the recognition.

Culture

The magical urban glimpse are know to everyone beacause the town was the set for some movies. Leonardo Sciascia considered it the ideal scenary for acts and many directors set their movies or fictions in it, like the Montalbano Tv Series. There are many places dedicated to culture the Tina di Lorenzo Theatre or the Ducezio Palace which are open to the public all year long.

History

The first settlements date back to the bronze age, but it was when the greek came to the area that we first heard of a town (polis) named Neas or Neaton. A Syracusan colony, it became tied to Rome after an alliance was forged. It suffered, like the rest of the isle, the byzantine invasion, the arab occupation and the coming of the normans lead by Ruggiero D’Altavilla. It joined te Vespri Siciliani rebellion when it was under the Angevin and Aragonese domination. When it was at its maximum splendor the earthquake destroyed it in 1693, but the town rose again and became part of the Reign of Italy first and of the Italian Republic after.