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Noto

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About Noto

Southeastern Sicily's Noto is a Baroque fantasy in apricot-coloured sandstone, conjured up in surprisingly un-uniform fashion after an earthquake destroyed much of pre-Baroque Noto in 1693. Just three architects had a hand in its recreation, and they built a town with long parallel lines east to west, that made the most of the sun’s movement, and of the views. And of all the architectural details the Baroque period had on offer: domes, towers, and all manner of sandstone curlicues. And visitors are still appreciating the results today. Our Gurus agree that many of the best places to stay in Noto are still those same Baroque buildings, grand, ornate palazzos, with colourfully tiled floors and huge windows. Though if that sounds a bit fussy for you they have also chosen some simpler conversions, rural farms undergone contemporary makeovers, and more recently built family hotels and B&Bs.

Many visitors who choose to stay in Noto do so because of the town’s elegance, it’s like a film set. There a historic glamour to it that lends romance to the already gorgeous sunsets - there’s something quite magical about the way the sun is absorbed and reflects off Sicilian sandstone. The main street, Corsa Vittorio Emanuele is one of Noto’s most glamorous, starting at the Ports Reale, and heading west via three piazzas, each with their own church and gardens, and some of Noto’s most impressive buildings. There’s also an excellent collection of bars, cafes, boutiques, galleries and restaurants, which is why out Gurus recommend the best places to stay in Noto to foodies, and anyone looking for a romantic Sicilian town.

Noto might sound as if it’s not the place to bring your kids, but that’s not true, so much of what you see here you can run into serendipitously, or holding a gelato cone at the same time. And Noto is within a few miles of some beautiful stretches of beach-y coastline. The closest beaches, Eloro and Eloro-Pizzuta, are next to the seventh century ruins of a Greek city. Noto is close to Modica and Ragusa too, which you can sort of run into on the way to the beach? So our Gurus don’t hesitate in recommending the best places to stay in Noto for families, even the really fancy ones, because they all have large, family-sized suites and promise private and style. If you’re considering visiting in May, expect to see Noto’s gorgeous street strewn with patterns of floral petals, as the town celebrates the coming of spring with the Infiorata festival.

The Best Places to Stay in Noto

For a Special Occasion

  • Q92 Noto Hotel is a boutique hotel converted from an ornately beautiful, 17th century Baroque palazzo in the centre of Noto. Our Gurus agree that this is the fanciest Baroque palazzo conversion that they’ve seen in Noto, though each of its nine rooms and suites have been individually designed and decorated, and not all of them are as fancy as each other. Some have hand-painted murals, sculptures, marble floors, while some have original artworks, grand balconies, and original tiles. Our Gurus recommend you look at each of the rooms before deciding. Outside is a beautiful terrace, a small pool and a pretty garden, and inside is a chic lounge where drinks and snacks are served throughout the day. Breakfast can be served inside or out.

Converted Palazzo

  • Small and elegant, the Gagliardi Boutique Hotel has been carefully converted from a beautiful, 18th century palazzo in central Noto, with is awash with beautiful palazzos. The interiors of the Gagliardi offer a good balance between luxury and comfort, with well chosen antiques and art, that makes it feel like a living mansion, and guests more like houseguests. The cafe/ restaurant is very good, and you’re close to numerous others, and the private roof terrace has some of the best views in Noto. Despite the elegant decor, this is a surprisingly family friendly option, with family suites and babysitting services available.
  • Converted from an historic, 18th palazzo opposite the cathedral in Noto’s medieval heart, Seven Rooms Villadorata, is a grand collection of rooms, suites, apartments and studios, which inexplicably adds up to nine, rather than seven. Each of the rooms has been individually designed and decorated, incorporating the palazzo’s original, luxurious features, but adding tasteful antiques and all the modern comforts. Some of the rooms have private balconies overlooking the cathedral, while some have incredible tile-work, or tall French doors. Some of the rooms are huge, suitable for families, but all have romantic decor. The restaurant specialises in Mediterranean cuisine.

For a Countryside Escape

  • The Country House Villadorata is a contemporary conversion of farm buildings, sitting outside Noto, inland, and surrounded by vineyards, and olive and citrus groves. There are three accommodation buildings, offering a choice of rooms or suites, or a whole private residence. Gentle paths wind between them, through fragrant gardens and a large pool. The interiors have a contemporary feel, but include the building’s historic touches, and all of the rooms and suites have large windows and serene views. The restaurant is excellent, a specialist in seasonal Sicilian cuisine, with many ingredients coming right out of the hotel grounds. They offer cooking classes as well.

For Families

  • La Dépendance has been created from the ruins of an historic palazzo, so the location is central, but the individually decorated rooms and suites are more contemporary than many you’ll find in the heart of Noto. Expect lots of space, large windows and comfortable furnishings you can really sink into. For this reason this is one of our Guru’s top picks for families in central Noto. The restaurant specialises in modern Sicilian fare, which means plenty of local produce.

Best B&Bs

  • The San Carlo Suites is a charming pick, converted from a Sicilian Baroque mansion in the historic heart of Noto. Its five rooms are large and light, with original, intricately tiled floors, huge windows and doorways of exposed stone. Our Guru’s favourite rooms have Baroque balconies overlooking the Basilica San Nicolò. You’re welcome to have breakfast on your balcony too. And borrow a bike.

For a Private apartment or private villa

  • If you're travelling as a family or a group of friends it may be a better option to book a villa or apartment. For a wide range of properties for all tastes and budgets we recommend you visit our online partner Booking.com.

Travel Information

  • Catania Airport is the closest international airport to Noto: about an hour away by car, or an hour and a half if you take the bus. Palermo Airport is Sicily’s other large airport, and might offer better connections for you? Palermo Airport is about three and a half hours drive from Noto, or about six and a half hours by public transport.
  • If you want to hire a car, we recommend you visit our online partner, Rentalcars.
  • Sicily, unlike some Italian destinations, remains open all year round. That doesn’t mean it’s equally nice all year round, it’s definitely chilly in winter - though it does snow at higher altitudes, including on the crest of Mount Etna, Sicily’s volcano, which is quite beautiful. If you do come between November and February expect the daylight hours to impact opening hours too. Spring, or March through June, really, is one of our Guru’s favourite times to visit Sicily, because the weather is sunny and mild, and the festival and events calendar is packed with activity leading up to Easter. In May Noto celebrates Infiorata, a colourful floral festival, where artists from around the world create designs using just flower petals. July and August are properly hot, and the Mediterranean beaches and beach resorts are busy, and can be expensive, but the visitors tail off in September, though the sea is still warm and pleasant. October is a good pick if you’re planning to visit the museums and palaces, and admire the architecture, and our Gurus recommend September and October, and April and May, as the best times to visit for walkers.

Still not sure where to stay?

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Best Hotels in Noto

  • Q92 Noto Hotel Noto 9 rooms from £217

    Sights nearby  -  Noto is known for its baroque architecture, including the 18th-century Cathedral.
    Swimming Pool  -  There's a mini pool in the internal garden.
    Boutique  -  Just 9 rooms and suites.
    Designer  -  Uniquely designed interiors.
    Air conditioningSwimming PoolGarden

    Q92 is a new boutique hotel in Sicily that opened in May 2022. A baroque palazzo in one of the best locations in Noto, Sicily. Nine rooms, a pretty garden with a small pool, private and romantic. A little hidden gem. See More

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  • La Dépendance Noto (Sicily) 5 rooms from £130

    City Style  -  Located in a heritage building in Noto, this hotel's original palazzo features give it classic Sicilian style
    Local exploring  -  Located in the the historic centre of the city, this hotel is the perfect base for local exploring in Noto
    Romantic Break  -  Couples love the cosy hotel rooms and the delicious Sicilian dishes at the restaurant
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the nearby Cattedrale di Noto, a church built in the classic Sicilian baroque style
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Great Small Hotels

    This elegant hotel was constructed from the ruins of a former palazzo in Noto, Sicily. Suites are spacious and individually styled, ranging from contemporary to baroque designs. Dine at the hotel's modern Sicilian restaurant, A'Mastra, where cultural events are also held. A charming heritage hotel. See More

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  • San Carlo Suites Noto (Sicily) 5 rooms from £146

    City Style  -  Situated within a heritage building with lots of original features, this hotel is all about Sicilian style
    Local exploring  -  Located in the centre of Noto, this hotel makes a great base for local sightseeing in and around the city
    Romantic Break  -  Book a room with a private balcony for added romance at this charming hotel
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Cathedral of Noto, a reconstructed, 18th-century Sicilian baroque cathedral with a neoclassical dome
    Air conditioningParkingNo pets

    This charming B&B is located in the heart of the heritage city of Noto. Rooms boast tiled floors and are dressed in a blend of traditional and contemporary design; the best suites have Baroque-style balconies where you can enjoy breakfast with views of the Basilica of San Nicolò. A delightful hotel. See More

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  • Seven Rooms Villadorata Noto 9 rooms from £166

    Restaurant  -  Manna restaurant specialises in delicious mediterranean cuisine
    Sailing  -  With or without a skipper can be arranged
    Local markets  -  Good for local colour.
    Sights nearby  -  Well located for major sights.
    Air conditioningRestaurantPet friendly
    Recommended by  -  Mr & Mrs Smith

    A historic building in Noto's medieval centre. Grand, beautiful architecture, frescoes on the ceilings, Baroque balconies, and ornate decoration. An elegant B&B with wonderful views. very romantic, also family friendly. See More

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  • Gagliardi Boutique Hotel Noto SR 10 rooms from £172

    Local exploring  -  With its walking tours and central location, its an ideal spot from which to discover this charming Sicilian town
    Families  -  Offering child-minding facilities and family suites, this is a family-friendly choice
    Great walks  -  The hotel organises walking tours designed to reveal the best of the city's Baroque architecture
    Restaurant  -  Cafe Giardino is open from 10.30 to midnight.
    RestaurantDisabled accessViewsNo pets
    Recommended by  -  I Escape

    An elegant small hotel set in an 18th-century palazzo. The palatial rooms feature ornate furnishings, marble flooring and French windows while the bathrooms are indulgent and contemporary. With an exclusive roof terrace and a prime location, this is hard to beat. See More

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  • Country House Villadorata Noto (Sicily) 8 rooms from £484

    Country Escape  -  Set within the rolling hills of the Sicilian countryside, this hotel makes a great escape to the country
    Hideaway  -  Set outside of the city on a private vineyard, this hotel is the perfect hideaway holiday destination
    Romantic Break  -  The serene natural setting and the pretty outdoor pool score highly with couples
    Sights nearby  -  Visit the Cattedrale di Noto, a beautiful example of Sicilian Baroque architecture
    Air conditioningRestaurantSwimming PoolGardenPet friendlyDisabled accessParking
    Recommended by  -  Tablet

    This guesthouse is nestled within a vineyard in Noto, a city in the Sicilian countryside. Rooms are modern, dressed in a pleasing pastel palette with luxurious linens; a private residence with a separate pool is available for ultimate discretion. Eat at the organic restaurant; a delightful retreat. See More

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