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Baroque Hill Towns in Sicily

Baroque Hill Towns in Sicily

Rebuilt after an earthquake devastated much of the region in 1693, Sicily is famous for its striking baroque villages. Most notable of these are the hill towns of the Val di Noto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here are some of the best to add to your Sicily itinerary. 

Noto

Noto’s magnificent churches and palazzos are characteristic of the Sicilian baroque style, and a walking tour is the most atmospheric way to admire the town’s architecture. Combine a tour with the nearby Roman Villa of Tellaro or the traditional fishing village of Marzamemi.

Catania

Catania is the largest of Sicily’s UNESCO-listed hill towns. Along with many fine examples of Sicilian baroque architecture, it also boasts historic attractions from other periods, including ancient Greek and Roman times. Along the way, take a detour just north of Catania to Mt. Etna, Europe’s highest active volcano, which looms on the horizon. 

Ragusa

Like Noto, Ragusa was rebuilt in a different place post-earthquake. The town is most notable for its high baroque style, of which there are nine churches and seven palazzos to admire.

Modica

While the ruins of Modica’s old city lie on the hilltop, the baroque town stretches down the hillside, offering magnificent views over the surrounding countryside. Often combined with a visit to nearby Ragusa, the town’s prize attraction is the exquisite Cathedral of St. George. 

Palazzolo

The baroque town of Palazzolo was erected on the site of an ancient Greek city, and you can still see the remnants of its ancient past along with a number of stunning Sicilian baroque churches. 

Scicli

Uniquely situated between the three hills of San Matteo, Santa Croce, and San Domenico, Scicli is a charming maze of gullies, grottoes, and gardens. Highlights include the ornate bell towers of the Sant’Ignazio church, the grand facade of Palazzo Beneventano, the caves of Chiafura, and the beautiful Via Mormino Penna. 

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3 Tours and Activities

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Noto and Marzamemi Day Trip from Taormina

Noto and Marzamemi Day Trip from Taormina

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Explore the south of Sicily on this day trip from Taormina to Noto and Marzamemi. Led by a local guide, head first to the UNESCO-listed city of Noto and admire its sweeping Cathedral. Afterward, journey along the scenic coastline and see the gorgeous mosaics inside the Villa Romana del Tellaro. Top off the trip with some free time in the fishing village of Marzamemi to swim, purchase a delicious seafood lunch or check out the Church of San Francesco di Paola.
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  • 9 hours
  • Free Cancellation
  • Taking safety measures
From
$59.02
From
$59.02
Taking safety measures

Ragusa Walking tour

Ragusa Walking tour

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8
Famed for its baroque architecture and UNESCO designation, Ragusa is a destination that’s best explored on foot. On this small-group walking tour, you’ll get up close and personal with the city’s sights. Discover ornate churches and palaces, linger in busy public squares, and learn about the catastrophic earthquake that forever changed the city. As you go, your guide will share stories and facts about its rich history.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$66.59
From
$66.59

Noto Walking Tour

Noto Walking Tour

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9
Explore the traditions and culture of the beautiful town of Noto on this tour from Syracuse. Enjoy a guided tour of the charming town with a knowledgeable guide, admiring the exquisite Baroque architecture. Spend some time wandering the main shopping streets at your leisure.
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  • 2 hours
  • Free Cancellation
From
$52.97
From
$52.97