Friday, 5 June 2015

Honeymoon Day 2: Noto, Sicily

Porta Real in Noto 
A common theme of hotel reviews in Sicily was how amazing the buffet breakfasts were in all of the hotels. It was therefore with much anticipation that I went down to breakfast on the first morning of our honeymoon. Sadly we'd drawn a bit of a dud with La Dependance (in terms of the breakfast, but not the hotel overall). The buffet was ok, but nothing special. It just made us appreciate the second hotel we staying in even more!

We decided to spend the day pottering around Noto and I was pretty happy to have a day off without driving. We started with a lazy stroll along the main street, taking time to absorb it all after our quick stroll the night before. The number and quality of the Renaissance buildings really is very high.

At the end of the main street is the town gate, Porta Real which more or less marks the end of town. We strolled on a bit further, past a couple of market stalls to a lookout where we took in the view of the valley below and out to sea.

Becks looking out towards the sea
Strolling back into town we sat on the cathedral steps soaking in the atmosphere before deciding to go inside for a look round. The cathedral was started in 1776, but the roof collapsed in 1996 and a large part of the cathedral has been reconstructed since. (The facade was undamaged I believe.)

The cathedral was less ornate inside than I expected. That could have been the prevailing style at the time it was built (as none of the churches we visited were particularly ornate) or due to many features being lost when the roof collapsed. The walls were painted a crisp and bright white, almost bordering on the stark. The church's truly impressive feature being the painted frescos on the ceiling. They were very vivid and bright having been painted within the last decade and not yet dulled by the passage of time.
Becks on the cathedral steps
Inside the cathedral
After the cathedral we headed to the Town Hall located directly opposite. We paid a whopping €4 for a ticket that gave us entry to the Town Hall, Theatre and Museum. Inside the Town Hall you could actually only visit on room, an impressively gilded room that is used for civil weddings and town official functions. Having only been married three days earlier we were possibly a bit too excited by a space which can hold weddings.

Me outside the Town Hall
After the Town Hall we walked to the other end of the main street where we visited the town theatre. It was an unexpected gem. The theatre was relatively small in size, but was elaborate decorated as you can see from the picture of the boxes below.

Inside Noto's the theatre
Outside Noto's theatre 
We had a look in the church opposite the theatre followed by lunch at a small café at the end of the street our hotel was on. They didn't have any menus but we were sold sandwiches made from local ham, pecorino cheese and tomatoes and they were delightful.

We returned to the hotel for a post lunch nap before heading out for a drift round more of Noto. We walked some of the streets up the hill above our hotel where we saw the Chiesa del Crocifisso (below) and also some of the streets below the main drag which contains the cathedral. There could have been an ice cream stop too.

Chiesa del Crocifisso (which we think is just a facade)

1 comment:

  1. WOW!! I can't wait more to go Sicily. It is one of best city of Italy. I was there 2 years ago and had wonderful time there. This place is highly recommended. Thanks!
    top cities to visit in italy