We had a short but pleasant stop to see the picturesque town of Noto.
The town of Noto has been here for centuries, but the Noto of today was almost totally rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. It is a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque architecture and is listed among UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.
The main street, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, is lined with Baroque churches and palaces, built of a soft tufa stone which gives it a honey color in the sunlight.
Church of San Francesco d’Assisi
Cattedrale di San Nicolo
Palazzo Ducezio is now the City Hall.
Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata is loaded with wrought iron balconies supported by grotesques.
I think this is a clever design for outdoor dining.
This was a nice little visit to Noto!
Modica is another hill town that was rebuilt after the devastating earthquake in 1693. The older town is high on the hill. We visited the lower, newer town.
Antica Dolceria Bonajuto is the oldest chocolate factory in Sicily (1880).
We had lots of chocolate flavors to sample!
A tour of the “factory”.
Chocolate was introduced to Sicily by Spanish colonists. It is characterized by an ancient Aztec original recipe using manual grinding which gives the chocolate a grainy texture and aromatic flavor.
They also make lovely pastries.
These sweets are marzipan (sugar and ground almond candy) decorated to look like fruits and vegetables.
After our factory tour we had time to explore the town.
A Chocolate store and a colorful Italian Vespa.
The Cathedral of San Pietro was restored after the earthquake of 1693. It is crowned by a Sicilian Baroque bell tower.
Here’s our good-looking tour group in the chocolate factory!