Siracusa and Noto, true sicilian gems  – home of Archimedes and Dionysius the Great, Syracuse was, with Athens, the largest and most beautiful city of the Greek world. Noto, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. Noto was rebuilt in the 18th century after a devastating earthquake, and is now known for its beautiful Baroque architecture.


Siracusa is one of the most beautiful and historic cities in Italy. Founded by Greek settlers in the 8th century BC, it flourished as a major trading center and earned a reputation as a center of learning. The city was home to Archimedes and Dionysius the Great, two of the most famous thinkers of the ancient world.

Today, Siracusa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with many well-preserved monuments from its Greek and Roman past. The Neapolis archaeological park is the most representative part of the old city, with examples of Greek architecture such as Hieron’s Altar, the Ear of Dionysius, and the Greek Theatre. The Roman Amphitheatre is also worth a visit.

The tiny island of Ortygia is the oldest part of Siracusa, and home to some of the city’s most important landmarks, including the Doric Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Athena, both of which are now incorporated into the Baroque cathedral of Siracusa.

Make sure to also visit the Fontana Aretusa, a natural spring that has been flowing since ancient times.


Noto is a town in the province of Siracusa, Sicily, southern Italy. The town was founded on a rocky promontory overlooking the Ionian Sea in 664 BC by Greek settlers from Corinth and Corcyra. In 2002, it had a population of about 9,000 and an area of 27 square kilometres. With the neighbouring villages of Pachino and Marzamemi, it forms part of the so-called Noto Triangle area.

Noto is 33 kilometres from Siracusa (city), 60 kilometres from Gela, 95 kilometres from Catania, 145 kilometres from Ragusa and 150 kilometres from Siracusa (province). The town lies on a limestone hill above the valley of the River Anapo. It has a Mediterranean climate with hot and dry summers and mild winters.

In 1634, Noto was completely destroyed by an earthquake and had to be rebuilt in the Baroque style that characterises it today. Many of the city’s churches, palaces and bridges were rebuilt in this style during the 18th century.

In the late 20th century, a number of towns in the vicinity of Noto were severely damaged by earthquakes. These included nearby Netum (now part of Noto), Solarino, Palazzolo Acreide and various other small villages in the area.

Noto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, together with the other towns in the Val di Noto, was awarded this status in 2002.

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