Noto is ‘the garden of stone’ and possibly the archetypal baroque town, having been entirely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. The old town of Noto Antica was abandoned and the new town built from scratch on a south facing slope only 6km from the sea. As a result the town has a plan, with the main Corso being lined with the most prestigious and religious buildings. The ornate balconies are full of fantastical creatures, and in May there is the Infiorata, by now one of the most important Sicilian events.
Noto has seen a resurgence in recent years. There are now restaurants and bars which make the town must more cosmopolitan than before, though for shopping most locals go to Avola or Modica.
The seaside area of Noto Marina is popular, as is the Vendicari nature reserve – 13km of unspoilt beaches to the south of town.