Noto Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, places to stay, food to try, and more in Noto, Sicily, with our travel guide.

Introduction to Noto

Noto, located in the Syracuse province in the Italian region of Sicily, is a charming and picturesque city that is often called the “Stone Garden” due to its stunning Baroque architecture. Noto is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is popular among travelers for its historical landmarks, natural beauty, and great food. In this guide, we will explore the best things to do, places to stay, food to try, and much more in Noto, Sicily.

List of Places to Visit in Noto

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Noto has a rich history and culture that can be observed through its many museums and historical sites. Some of the must-visit attractions include:

  • Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata: A spectacular palace that exemplifies the Baroque architecture of Noto. The palace is home to a small museum showcasing antique artifacts and furnishings.
  • Noto Cathedral: A grand cathedral located in the heart of the city. The cathedral is adorned with intricate designs and paintings, and is definitely worth a visit.
  • Sicilian Puppet Theatre Museum: One of the most unique museums in Italy, the Puppet Theatre Museum showcases the traditional art form of Sicilian puppetry.

Natural Attractions of Noto: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Noto is surrounded by natural beauty, with breathtaking landscapes and stunning sea views. Here are some natural attractions that you should not miss:

  • Vendicari Nature Reserve: A protected area that is home to wildlife, sandy beaches, lagoons, and ancient ruins. It’s a perfect place for hiking, bird watching, swimming, and relaxing.
  • Cava Grande del Cassibile: A beautiful canyon with crystal-clear waters and waterfalls. The canyon is ideal for hiking and swimming.
  • Calamosche Beach: A hidden gem that boasts turquoise waters and soft white sand. It’s a great spot for swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Noto

Noto offers several hiking and biking routes that provide visitors with a chance to explore its natural beauty and charming villages. Some of the popular trails include:

  • The Noto Antica Path: A trail that leads to the ancient ruins of Noto Antica. The trail is around 12 km long and offers scenic views of the countryside.
  • The Coastal Trail: A trail that runs along the coast of Noto, providing stunning sea views. The trail is about 12 km long and is ideal for hiking and biking.
  • The Monti Iblei Trail: A trail that leads to the Monti Iblei mountains, offering panoramic views of the landscape. The trail is around 15 km long and is suitable for experienced hikers.

Best Things to Do in Noto: Activities and Tours

Apart from visiting its historical landmarks and natural attractions, Noto also offers several activities and tours that visitors can enjoy. Some of the popular activities include:

  • Cooking Classes: Learn how to cook traditional Sicilian dishes and pasta with an experienced chef.
  • Wine Tasting Tours: Experience the flavors of Sicily by taking a wine tasting tour in the nearby vineyards.
  • Painting Workshops: Unleash your inner artist by joining a painting workshop that uses Noto’s charming streets and landscapes as inspiration.

Week-Long Itinerary for Noto

If you’re planning to stay in Noto for a week, here’s an itinerary that will help you make the most of your time:

  • Day 1: Visit Noto Cathedral and explore the city center.
  • Day 2: Relax on Calamosche Beach or hike in the Vendicari Nature Reserve.
  • Day 3: Take a daytrip to nearby Ragusa, another UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  • Day 4: Rent a bike and explore the countryside, stopping at charming villages along the way.
  • Day 5: Learn how to cook traditional Sicilian dishes by taking a cooking class.
  • Day 6: Visit Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata and the Sicilian Puppet Theatre Museum.
  • Day 7: Take a wine tasting tour and enjoy the flavors of Sicily.

Food and Drink Scene of Noto

Sicilian cuisine is renowned for its rich flavors and fresh ingredients, and Noto is no exception. Here are some delicious food and drink options that you should try:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Arancini: Fried rice balls that are filled with ragù, mozzarella, and often peas.
  • Caponata: A sweet and sour eggplant dish that is often served as a side dish.
  • Pasta alla Norma: A classic pasta dish made with eggplant, tomatoes, and ricotta salata cheese.

Local Beverages

  • Nero d’Avola: A red wine that is produced in the nearby vineyards and is often paired with meat dishes.
  • Limoncello: A lemon liqueur that is popular throughout Italy and is a refreshing after-dinner drink.
  • Granita: A shaved ice dessert that is flavored with fruit juices or coffee.

Where to Stay in Noto: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Noto offers a range of accommodation options that cater to different budgets and preferences. Some of the recommended hotels, hostels, and guesthouses include:

  • Hotel Porta Reale: A luxurious hotel that is located in the heart of Noto, close to all the attractions.
  • Fiori e Limoni: A charming B&B that offers comfortable rooms and excellent breakfast.
  • Ostello della Gioventù di Noto: A budget-friendly hostel that is perfect for backpackers.

What to Buy in Noto: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Noto is famous for its ceramics, lacework, and almond delicacies. Here are some souvenirs and local products that you should consider buying:

  • Ceramic Plates: Colorful and intricately designed plates that are handmade by local artisans.
  • Almond Brittle: A sweet and crunchy snack that is made with local almonds.
  • Lace tablecloths: Exquisitely designed tablecloths that are made by local lace makers.

Local Culture and Customs of Noto

Noto is a culturally rich city that celebrates its traditions and customs. Some of the important cultural events that take place in Noto include:

  • Infiorata: A flower festival that takes place in late May, where the streets are adorned with intricate floral designs.
  • The Feast of San Corrado: A religious festival that takes place on February 19th in honor of the city’s patron saint.

Best Time to Visit Noto

The best time to visit Noto is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April-June) and fall (September-November), when the weather is mild and the crowds are fewer. However, if you enjoy the hot weather and the beach, July and August are the peak season.

Do’s and Don’ts of Noto


  • Learn some Italian phrases to communicate with the locals.
  • Dress conservatively when visiting churches or religious sites.
  • Tip in restaurants and cafes.


  • Litter or leave trash on the streets.
  • Speak loudly or behave in a disrespectful manner in public.
  • Visit churches or religious sites in shorts or sleeveless tops.

Safety and Health

Safety in Noto

Noto is a safe city, but as with any place, visitors should take basic precautions to ensure their safety. These precautions include:

  • Avoid walking alone in deserted areas at night.
  • Keep your valuables in a safe place and be mindful of pickpockets.
  • Be aware of traffic and follow road safety rules.

Health in Noto

Noto has a few medical facilities that offer basic healthcare services. It is advisable to have travel insurance before visiting Noto. Additionally, visitors should take necessary precautions to avoid mosquito bites during the summer months.

Getting to Noto: Transportation Options and Logistics

Airports Near Noto

The closest airports to Noto are Catania Fontanarossa Airport, which is around 90 km away, and Palermo Falcone-Borsellino Airport, which is around 300 km away. From the airport, visitors can take a taxi or rent a car to reach Noto.

Bus Stations Near Noto

Noto has a bus station located in Piazza Trigona, which is served by AST and Interbus. Visitors can take a bus from nearby cities like Syracuse, Catania, and Palermo to reach Noto.

Other Options

Visitors can also rent a car or hire a private transfer from nearby cities to reach Noto.

How to Get Around in Noto

Noto is a small city that can easily be explored on foot. However, visitors can also rent a bike or scooter to explore the countryside and nearby attractions.

Where to Go Next from Noto: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Noto is located near some of the most beautiful destinations in Sicily, making it an ideal base for day trips or excursions. Some of the recommended nearby destinations include:

  • Ragusa: A UNESCO World Heritage Site that is famous for its charming streets and buildings.
  • Modica: Another UNESCO World Heritage Site that is known for its Baroque architecture and excellent chocolate.
  • Siracusa: A coastal city that is steeped in history and offers stunning sea views.


Noto is a beautiful and unique city that has something to offer for everyone. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, nature, or food, Noto has it all. From its charming streets and stunning Baroque buildings to its beautiful natural landscapes and delicious cuisine, Noto is a destination that should not be missed.