Updated: Apr 20
In contrast to big European cities during the summer, this region of Sicily has all the history of Rome along with the small-town breezy seaside charm of the Cinque Terre. Until you are in Noto, though, it’s hard to imagine just how close neighboring historic towns like Modica and Ragusa—and any number of Ancient Greek ruins and unspoiled beaches—are to the town center and to each other. Noto and its neighbors make sightseeing, especially with little ones, feel serendipitous rather than onerous. Noto is famous for its buildings from the early 18th century, many of which are considered to be among the finest examples of Sicilian baroque style. It is a place of many religious buildings and several palaces. Within five to 12 miles of central Noto are some of the most secluded sandy beaches not just in Sicily but in all of Italy. The ones closest to town, Eloro-Pizzuta and Eloro, run right into the ruins of the seventh-century b.c. Greek city Eloro. One great option is to rent lounge chairs and umbrellas at the Agua Beach Resort, in San Lorenzo Noto, for just $12 a day, and stay for a light lunch, like a plate of flavorful Pachino tomatoes with mozzarella. Noto may be small and secluded, but its rich array of sights and cuisine that it has to offer makes it a must see on any Southern Sicilian trip!