Noto, capital of late Baroque

Today the Baroque setting of Noto has reached unparalleled perfection in the new city where magnificent limestone buildings were built either side of the Corso, where you’ll find Q92 Noto Hotel. You can’t help stumble across the Baroque churches crowned with domes and flanked by endless stairways. This stunning stage set leaves visitors and travellers speechless, especially early evening during sunset.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is an elegant walkway lined with lovely restaurants, shops and cafés which are dotted amongst fine examples of Baroque palaces and churches. This street is the beating heart of Noto where locals and visitors enjoy the typical Italian stroll or ‘passeggiata’ with an ice cream in hand, particularly thrilling at sunset when the red-gold buildings seem to glow with a soft inner light.

The famous Cathedral of San Nicolò is the most important place of worship in Noto as well as the symbol of the city. It can be admired from Q92 Hotel’s hallways, balconies and from the panoramic Q92 terrace. Built in 1693, the Cathedral of San Nicolò was restored and reopened in 2007 after reparations had been completed following the damage caused by earthquakes over time. The cathedral stands proudly at the top of a large staircase, on the north side of Piazza Municipio where classical music concerts, opera or small cultural events are held throughout the year.

The façade, flanked by slender side towers, represents an example of the late Baroque architecture of the Val di Noto, while the interior of the church, with a Latin cross and three naves, has large, wide white spaces with simple baroque detail and decorations.

The Church of San Carlo, located right in front of the Q92 Noto Hotel, is known as the Church of the College for the adjoining Jesuit monastery. Dedicated to San Carlo Borromeo, it was built in the 1700s as part of a project by the famous architect Rosario Gagliardi and is a stunning example of Sicilian Baroque architecture.

A few steps away from Q92 Noto Hotel along the Corso is the church of San Francesco d'Assisi all'Immacolata which was built between 1704 and 1745 by architects Vincenzo Sinatra and Rosario Gagliardi and together with the annexed former convent of the conventual Friars Minor, it is considered by many as one of the most important religious buildings in Noto.

Palazzo Ducezio, is the municipal seat opposite Q92 Noto Hotel along the Corso in front of the cathedral. It is named after the founder of the city, Ducezio who, in the 5th-century BC, made the Sicilians rise up against the Greeks. Designed by the native Vincenzo Sinatra in 1746, who was inspired by some French palaces of the 17th-century, Palazzo Ducezio was completed in 1830 and enlarged at the beginning of the 1900s. Inside, the Hall of Mirrors is not to be missed with its oval layout, enriched with gold stuccoes in the style of Louis XV. For breathtaking views of the city head to the splendid terrace where you can enjoy extraordinary panoramas across Noto and the Cathedral of Noto.

Piazza XVI Maggio is more commonly called "Piazzetta Ercole" by the locals, where the central focal point is a baroque fountain of Hercules, coming from Noto Antica, built in 1757 by the Catania sculptor Orlando. In front of it stands the beautiful yet understated 19th-century Municipal Theatre named after Vittorio Emanuele which was opened on the evening of December 4th 1870.

The Church of “ Crocifisso” (the Holy Crucifix), located in Noto’s ‘upper city’, is, after the Cathedral, the largest religious building in Noto. The building dates back to 1715 and is the work of the architect Rosario Gagliardi. The name is the same as the church that existed in Noto Antica which was destroyed following the earthquake of 1693. Many visitors and locals consider it to be the most beautiful church in the city of Noto.

Palazzo Nicolaci, is literally right behind Q92 Noto Hotel and is another magnificent example of Noto baroque. The building was created as an urban noble residence for the Nicolaci family who kept the ownership of a wing, and it was completed by the architect Sinatra in 1765. Today the most interesting part that can be visited is the spectacular Piano Nobile and its rooms especially the "tea room" and the famous "party room".

The Infiorata of Noto is one of the most famous yearly events in Sicily. This festival of flowers takes place every year right under the balconies of Q92 Noto Hotel, on the third weekend of May. It is a famous carpet of flowers which covers the entire Via Corrado Nicolaci, where local florists and artists, inspired by a chosen single theme, bring to life a work of art, an event which has made Noto famous all over the world. The carpet is made using more than 400,000 flowers and makes up 700 square metres. Flowers used include daisies, roses, carnations and various wildflowers from the beautiful countryside around Noto.

Discovering Noto and Sicily