A guide to Noto, Sicily

This summer we wanted to go back to our favourite town in Sicily, Noto, even if just for a couple of days, after having explored the western part of Sicily about which you can read here.

Why we love Noto so much?

Well, lots of reasons really…its architecture and romantic vibe, the light of the town at sunset and the cobbled streets, the hot summer afternoons which remind me of my summer holidays when I was in school and of course the almond granita at Caffe Sicilia. Those watching Chefs table on Netflix will definitely understand what I’m talking about.

Where to stay?

We were very lucky to find this gorgeous airbnb right in the city centre, 5mins walk from Caffe Sicilia, so that we could easily be there first to arrive for breakfast. It has everything you need – well equipped kitchen, 2 bedrooms and a bathroom with shower, all nicely decorated, Celine, our host, giving a great attention to all the details. There is even a small courtyard, if you want to enjoy your coffee outside. Parking is for free on the streets nearby and it’s quite easy to find a spot.

Caffe Sicilia – is the place to go at any time of the day. Be the first there to get the best table outside and to meet Corrado. Don’t miss the almond Granita with brioche, this is what they have in Sicily for breakfast, as it’s way too hot for a coffee. You can also have a coffee if you want to, nobody said no to it 🙂

It’s also the place to go for a gelato in the afternoon, an absolute refreshment in the 40 degrees outside. But also the place to be late in the evening and enjoy a cannolo – I love sitting at the terrace and staring at the people passing by.

Crocifisso restaurant – beautiful Sicilian dishes in a lovely, modern place. This is where we went twice, first time was 4-5 years ago at the recommendation of our airbnb host in Sicily at that time, which happened to be a food blogger.

Beach time?

There are 3 mains beaches at Riserva Naturale di Vendicari and we tried all of them. You need to know that these are pristine beaches, with no shade during the day, s a beach umbrella and water, but also towels as there are no sun-beds. If you plan to spend the whole day at the beach, you’d better bring some food as well, as there is no place to buy stuff around.

Calamosche beach – 15-20 mins walk from where you leave the car to the beach, prepare yourself for this as it might be quite tough in the heat (no shade)

Eloro beach – only 5-10 mins walk from where you can park, relatively smaller beach compared to Calamosche

Spiaggia di Vendicari – only 5mins walk, easily accessible

Not far from any of these beaches, still in the Vendicari reserve, there is Il Baglietto di Vendicari, a lovely place hidden among the olive trees where you can enjoy a break in the shade and enjoy some of their lovely dishes: seafood pasta, grilled squid and fish, fresh tomato salad, fruits for dessert or one of their delicious pies. It’s the kind of place you can go back again & again, as the food is just perfect for summer and you can enjoy something different every day.

Fancy a cooking class?

We found one on airbnb and it proved to be a good choice and a lovely experience. Fausta, the owner of Baglio Occhipinti shared with us the secrets of preparing the parmigiana melanzane and sicilian pasta, which were later served for dinner to all her 19 guests (if I remember correctly). Lots of fun and good Sicilian wine 🙂

The bed & breakfast is gorgeous, you may consider booking a room there if you decide to spend a couple of days in the area.

Now I hope you’ve got all the reasons to fall in love with Noto and its surroundings:)

 

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