Noto is a charming baroque town on the southeast coast of Sicily. The town was originally 8 kilometers away but in 1693 a 7.4 earthquake struck Sicily and shook Noto to the ground.
When it came time to rebuild the crown of Aragon, which ruled Sicily at the time, hired architects for the new site by the Ionian Sea. The rubble that was once Noto was renamed Noto Antica.
As the new Noto and the other damaged towns were reconstructed, there was architectural revival on the island. The local architects designing the towns had been trained in Rome and contributed new baroque elements, like curved walls and ornate details that had been popular in Italy for decades. This kicked off the Sicilian Baroque era which is now one of the most characteristic architectural styles of the island.
In 2002 Noto was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is considered one of the most notable Sicilian Baroque towns, partly thanks to the Noto cathedral.
THE NOTO VESPA CLUB
On my walk through the town I stumbled upon the local vespa club. Most of the members wore the same aqua polo shirt and were scattered in groups by two rows of neatly parked classic vespas.