The finest baroque town in Sicily according to the visitors. The locals call it ‘a garden in stone’. Built after the earthquake of 1693 by Prince Landolina along classical lines. the city became a personal vision of one family. The city is built on two levels, the lower level being the more grandiose, the public buildings and swathes of steps line the Corso. On the upper level smaller buildings compete for space without detracting from the whole.

Nowadays Noto is visited by many tourists, especially at the time of the infiorita, or flower festival, when (as in Umbria and other cities) the streets are covered with elaborate designs made of flowers. see below..

Noto is famous for its fine buildings of the early eighteenth century, considered among the main masterpieces in the Sicilian baroque style.

Palaces and other buildings

Ducezio Palace, the current Town Hall. Designed by Vincenzo Sinatra, it houses neo-classical style frescoes by Antonio Mazza.
Astuto Palace.
Villadorata palace on Via Nicolaci which was built by P. Labisi in 1733.

Religious buildings

Cathedral of San Nicolà di Mira (finished 1776).
Church of Santa Caterina.
Church of San Corrado.
Church of the Collegio di San Carlo.
Church of the Jesus Name.
Monastery of Santa Chiara (1735), designed by Gagliardi. It has an oval plant, the interior divided by twelve columns housing a Madonna with Child from the sixteenth century.
Church of San Michele Arcangelo.
Church of Santa Maria della Scala.
Church of Santissimo Salvatore.
Town Library.
Church of San Nicola di Mira.
Church of Santa Chiara, with a precious Madonna by Antonello Gagini.
Church of San Francesco D’Assisi (Immacolata).
Church of the Spirito Santo.
Church of Ecce Homo.
Church of Santa Maria dell’Arco.
Church of the Anime Sante del Purgatorio (“Holy Souls of the Purgatory”).
Church of Santa Maria della Rotonda.
Church of the Santissima Trinità .
Church of San Carlo al Corso (by Rosario Gagliardi).
Church of Santa Maria del Carmelo.
Church of San Pietro Martire.
Church of San Michele Arcangelo.
Church of San Domenico (by Rosario Gagliardi).
Church of Sant’Antonio Abate.
Church of Santa Caterina.
Church of the Crociferio di San Camillo.
Church of Montevergine (San Girolamo).
Church of Santissimo Salvatore.
Church of San Andrea Apostolo.
Church of San Pietro delle Rose (Saints Peter and Paul)
Church of the SS. Crucifix.
Church of Sant’Egidio Vescovo.
Church of Santa Maria del Gesù.
Church of Annunziata.
Church of Santa Agata


Every year, the third Sunday in May is dedicated to the INFIORATA of the city of Noto. The event was born in 1980, and has grown in complexity and popularity year on year. On Via Corrado Nicolaci the impact is strongest, with the Church of the Montevergini at the top and the famous Palazzo of Principe Nicolaci looking down over a street of flower pictures. Every year the theme is different. Today, the infiorata is considered one of the most beautiful events of the island.

The event starts the day before when in the evening the ‘pittoristi’ start laying out the petals on a chalk drawn design in the street. It takes all night to complete the designs which are then on display only for two days, before a medieval procession announces the winner. The entire centro storico of Noto becomes a fair dedicated to the event which draws people in from all over Sicily and beyond.

In June 2007, the Duomo of San Nicolà was finally reopened after 15 years of restoration work. The result is stunning. Click on the photo to see the live webcam images!

South East Sicily in English