Top Historic Sights in Noto, Italy

Explore the historic highlights of Noto

Noto Cathedral

Noto Cathedral construction, in the style of the Sicilian Baroque, began in the early 18th century and was completed in 1776. It is dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Myra, and has been the cathedral of the Diocese of Noto since the diocese"s establishment in 1844. The cathedral dome collapsed in 1996 as a result of unremedied structural weakening caused by an earthquake in 1990, to which injudicious building altera ...
Founded: 1776 | Location: Noto, Italy

Palazzo Ducezio

Inspired by French palace architecture of the 17th century, graceful, porticoed Palazzo Ducezio is one of architect Vincenzo Sinatra"s finest works. The lower level, dating from the mid-18th-century, houses the jewel-box Sala degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors), a richly stuccoed, Louis XV-style room once used as a small theatre. The top floor, built in the mid-20th-century, offers a panoramic terrace with level views of ...
Founded: 1746-1830 | Location: Noto, Italy

San Carlo al Corso Church

The Carlo al Corso church replaced an earlier church. This church likely designed by Rosario Gagliardi, was part of the town reconstruction after the 1693 Sicily earthquake. The concave façade has three superimposed orders of columns, identified by their capitals from base to roofline as Doric, Ionic and Corinthian; in the progression expected in classical construction. The third story has floral oculus. The interior ha ...
Founded: 1693 | Location: Noto, Italy

Montevergine Church

Montevergine Church was built between 1695 and 1697, after the 1693 Sicily earthquake that leveled the town. It was built for the Benedictine nuns of the Order of Monte Vergine. The church is dedicated to St Jerome. The concave facade, flanked by two bell-towers, was completed in 1748 by Vincenzo Sinatra. The church rises at the top of stone steps, and the layout has a single nave flanked by Corinthian columns, and a ...
Founded: 1695 | Location: Noto, Italy

Santa Chiara Church

The church of Santa Chiara is located in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, next to the former Benedictine monastery of the Holy Crucifix.The church was designed by Rosario Gagliardi around 1730, it was completed in 1758 and later annexed to the monastery belonged the Benedictine nuns (which is now a museum). It represents an important example of baroque architecture.The façade of the church was originally located in Corso Vittor ...
Founded: 1730-1758 | Location: Noto, Italy

San Domenico Church

San Domenico is a Baroque-style, Roman Catholic church and monastery erected between 1703 and 1727 using designs by Rosario Gagliardi. The interior has three naves with polychrome marble side altars. The interior has a rich stucco decoration. The third altar to the left depicts a sculpted crucifixion with scenes of the Passion. Others depict a St Dominic receiving the Holy Spirit and a Madonna of the Rosary (1712) by ...
Founded: 1703-1727 | Location: Noto, Italy

Netum

Netum was a considerable ancient town in the south of Sicily. Its current site is at the località of Noto Antica, in the modern comune of Noto. As a treaty was concluded in 263 BCE between the Romans and King Hieron II of Syracuse, Netum was noticed as one of the cities left in subjection to that monarch. Ptolemy is the last ancient writer that mentions the name; but there is no doubt that it continued to exist thro ...
Founded: 8th century BCE | Location: Noto, Italy

Villa Romana del Tellaro

The Villa Romana del Tellaro is a Roman villa dating from the late Roman Empire. The remains of the villa were found in 1971 in a fertile agricultural area, on a low elevation near the Tellaro river. The central building was constructed around a large peristyle. The section of the porch on the north side had a floor which was decorated with mosaics. They show laurel wreathes forming circles and octagons with geometri ...
Founded: 4th century AD | Location: Noto, Italy

Helorus

Helorus was an ancient Greek city of Sicily, situated near the east coast. It was probably a colony of Syracuse, of which it appears to have continued always a dependency. The name is first found in Scylax; for, though Thucydides repeatedly mentions the road leading to Helorus from Syracuse, which was that followed by the Athenians in their disastrous retreat, he never speaks of the town itself. It was one of the cities w ...
Founded: 8th century BCE | Location: Noto, Italy

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Roman Walls of Lugo

Roman Walls of Lugo are an exceptional architectural, archaeological and constructive legacy of Roman engineering, dating from the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. The Walls are built of internal and external stone facings of slate with some granite, with a core filling of a conglomerate of slate slabs and worked stone pieces from Roman buildings, interlocked with lime mortar.

Their total length of 2117 m in the shape of an oblong rectangle occupies an area of 1.68 ha. Their height varies between 8 and 10 m, with a width of 4.2 m, reaching 7 m in some specific points. The walls still contain 85 external towers, 10 gates (five of which are original and five that were opened in modern times), four staircases and two ramps providing access to the walkway along the top of the walls, one of which is internal and the other external. Each tower contained access stairs leading from the intervallum to the wall walk of town wall, of which a total of 21 have been discovered to date.

The defences of Lugo are the most complete and best preserved example of Roman military architecture in the Western Roman Empire.

Despite the renovation work carried out, the walls conserve their original layout and the construction features associated with their defensive purpose, with walls, battlements, towers, fortifications, both modern and original gates and stairways, and a moat.

Since they were built, the walls have defined the layout and growth of the city, which was declared a Historical-Artistic Ensemble in 1973, forming a part of it and becoming an emblematic structure that can be freely accessed to walk along. The local inhabitants and visitors alike have used them as an area for enjoyment and as a part of urban life for centuries.

The fortifications were added to UNESCO"s World Heritage List in late 2000 and are a popular tourist attraction.