Most people after a city break in Sicily don’t look beyond famous faces like Syracuse and Palermo – but that’s where they’re missing a trick.
Noto retreats back from the south-east coast of Sicily, where vineyards and orchards squeeze between low hills. It’s got ancient roots, but rather than offering a sailor’s knot of alleys and churches, you get a tilting hilltop grid laid with wide boulevards, pristine piazzas, golden palazzos and domed churches.
That’s all down to a 17th-century earthquake that prompted a redesign by architects like Rosario Gagliardi. Noto Cathedral was one of his creations – an ode to a very Sicilian style of Baroque (expect lots of scrolls and balconies).
Walk down the main boulevard, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, and you’ll pass sandstone buildings that look like they’re permanently in golden hour mode. It’s no wonder UNESCO included the city on its World Heritage list.
Handpicked hotels in Noto
Discover the real Noto while staying in one of our carefully selected hotels
Flights from the UK to Sicily arrive into Palermo (PMO), Catania (CTA) or Comiso (CIY) airports. Flights to Palermo are available from London Gatwick and London Stansted and take approximately 2 hours 50 minutes, while flights to Catania depart from Birmingham, London Gatwick, London Luton and Manchester and take approximately 3 hours. Flights to Comiso depart from London Stansted and take approximately 3 hours 15 minutes.
When to go
Thanks to its southerly location, Sicily enjoys mild temperatures all year round. Spring and autumn are both lovely times to visit, with temperatures in the high teens and early 20s (although up in the hills and on the slopes of Mount Etna it can be significantly cooler). In summer, you can expect temperatures in the high 20s – perfect for spending time on the island's beautiful beaches.
At the current time, British citizens do not require a visa to visit Italy.
You don’t have to leave a tip in Italy – most Italians don’t tip for restaurant meals, bar drinks, taxi rides or hair and beauty treatments. However if you do leave a tip, you might receive quicker service.