The first stop on our Sicilian tour was Noto, a baroque town in southern Sicily that was rebuilt after a devastating earthquake in 1693. The town was quite lavish, built on a hill with very beautiful and uniform architecture. It was a nice place to ease into the trip. It is claimed that the best gelato in the world comes from Noto. Who knows but we did enjoy an excuse to make repeat visits to gelateria Cafe Sicilia. We also visited some of the more than forty churches in town. Seeing as there were never more than few thousand inhabitants here, we found the number of churches a curiosity. Sadly, on a Sunday morning stroll through the village we noticed that many of the churches had closed up and fallen into disrepair.
After completing the iPhone “Audioguida Noto” and taking a couple strolls along the main Via Corso Vittorio Emanuele, we were quite satisfied to just relax and chill in the room. Although we did not know it at the time of booking, our B&B was a former palace, the grand Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata. Not only that, our room was the room of the prince of nobles himself, and it was indeed very palatial. Katie kept saying, “So this is what it’s like to sleep in a palace!” The room and bathroom were bigger than our London flat, and the frescoed 25ft ceilings were sumptuous. We enjoyed our piccolo taste of royalty. From the wrought iron balcony we could gaze at the dramatic facades of the many chiesas (churches) and over the red tiled roofs of our less noble neighbors.