Here’s some of what the Lonely Planet – Italy chapter on Sicily has to say about Noto:
“Flattened in 1693 by an earthquake, Noto was grandly rebuilt by its nobles. It is now the finest baroque town in Sicily, especially appreciable at night when the illuminations introduced in 2006 accentuate its beauty and intricately carved facades.
The baroque masterpiece is the work of Rosario Gagliardi and his assistant, Vincenzo Sinatra, local architects who also worked in Ragusa and Modica. Recently added to Unesco’s list of World Heritage sites, Noto’s fragile sandstone buildings are currently undergoing extensive restoration.
On 16 March 1996 the town was horrified when the roof and dome of the cathedral collapsed during a thunderstorm – luckily it was 10.30pm and the cathedral was empty. In June 2007 the cathedral finally re-opened after lengthy reconstruction.
The San Nicoló Cathedral stands in the centre of Noto’s most graceful square, Piazza Municipio, and is surrounded by elegant town houses. For sweeping rooftop views of Noto’s baroque splendour, climb the campanile (bell tower) at Chiesa di San Carlo al Corso or Chiesa di Santa Chiara.”
KAPOORS ON THE ROAD