TBT:Road trip in Sicily: Noto

Greetings from Helsinki airport, I am waiting my flight to Venice, from where I am going to continue to Padova later today. But as usual in Thursdays, I will give you little part of Italy and take you back to one of my trips. Today’s TBT post continues the Road trip in Sicily -series and today it is time to show the second city we visited; Noto.

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So after we had our few hours brake in Ragusa we continued our trip to the amazing baroque city Noto. Noto is one of the eight towns in south-eastern Sicily know as the Late Baroque Towns of the Val di Noto. These cities (Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli) were all rebuilt after 1693 earthquake and they are listed as UNESCO world heritage sites. Compared to Ragusa I felt Noto was much more touristic and especially in a sunny August Saturday the city was packed with people. But nevertheless the city did not feel over grouted and you could see the locals doing their every day things. I highly recommend Noto if you are visiting this side of Sicily.

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Noto is highly know from its baroque style buildings and I realized that my pictures actually are not showing that beautiful aspect of Noto. I remember walking around and just wondering all the history and looking around, but apparently I  have been so mesmerized that I have forgot to take more photos. But this only means that you should go there and see it by yourself don`t you think?

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Noto has many beautiful churches and cathedrals open for visitors. The one in the pictures is Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Myra. During our visit it was filled with white flowers as later that afternoon wedding was taking place there. It was nice to watch how two men try to decorate not only the inside but also outside with white flowers and checking that the long red carpet was straight from the street front of the cathedral till the altar.

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This is from the door of Cathedral of Saint Nicholas of Myra and I like how these kind of small details can tell so much about the history.

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Another beautiful place you definitely should visit is the Chiesa di San Carlo al Corso. From inside you can continue your visit all the way up to the roof (entrance fee was 2€) and experience the city view from totally different perspective. The bells, pines and old roof tiles are magical and somehow the noises of the city disappeared when you are above all the busy city life. Just one hint, if you are afraid of heights and narrow old staircases this may not be the best activity for you. And take a lot water, I felt melting when climbing up  those small stairs.

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If you continue walking the streets around the city you will find nice ice cream bars (Caffè Sicilia is said to be selling the best ice cream in the world), coffee shops and small shops selling handcrafts and souvenirs. I noticed that many shops here are selling pine (La pigna) and owl (Gufo) shaped statues as they have strong symbolic meaning. You can also find some small things made from lava as now you are not that far from Etna anymore. It was also nice to notice that if you go little more far from the main street you can find some small chic boutiques selling beautiful fashion and small things, like sentenced candles, for home.

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I hope you have a nice Thursday, I will be posting next week from Italy. I have booked time to visit Florence and Venice so far, but let`s see if I end up visiting other places also. Ciao!

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P.S while driving to Noto don`t forget to look for the almond trees, it was total surprise to me that they are growing in the area just like any other tree or plant. It is the beauty of life that something so exotic for me is so normal to the people there.

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