Noto is an architectural supermodel, a baroque belle so gorgeous you might mistake it for a film set. Located less than 40km southwest of Syracuse, the town is home to one of Sicily's most beautiful historic centres. The pièce de résistance is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegant walkway flanked by thrilling baroque palazzi and churches. Dashing at any time of the day, it’s especially hypnotic in the early evening, when the red-gold buildings seem to glow with a soft inner light.
Although a town called Noto or Netum has existed here for many centuries, the Noto that you see today dates to the early 18th century, when it was almost entirely rebuilt in the wake of the devastating 1693 earthquake. Creator of many of the finest buildings was Rosario Gagliardi, a local architect whose extroverted style also graces churches in Modica and Ragusa.