This site compromises eight towns located within the Val di Noto region of Sicily. The towns were rebuilt after an earthquake in 1693 in a Baroque style which was a considerable achievement both artistically and architecturally. The area is very well known for it’s produce such as fantastic olive oil, chocolate and Nero d’Avola wine. After flying to Comiso airport and collecting a hire car, my base for exploring the towns was Modica. I stayed in the Ferrohotel, reasonably priced, clean and modern but they were unable to turn on the air conditioning in the room which meant it was too hot. I would call to check they have this turned on.
A lovely piazza, nice views and some great food. Already at the start of May this little town was busy, so I’m not sure how pleasant it would be during the busy summer season but it’s worth checking out just for the Salumeria Barocco (Corso XXV Aprile, 80, 97100 Ragusa.) Arriving around 3:30 in the afternoon meant most restaurants were closed for food but luckily this delicious Salumeria(Italian sandwich shop/ deli) was open and available for us to sample some DOP local meat, cheese and wine.
For my two nights in the Val di Noto area, I chose to stay in Modica. There are numerous restaurants and a couple of lovely wine bars. Modica is famous for it’s chocolate, you have to visit Antica Dolceria Bonajuto. The chocolate is delicious in small chunks, and even reasonably priced! My favourite was the vanilla classic bar, wrapped in the same packaging used in 1911 – so cute!
Noto is touristy on the main drag. There are kids on the street with Budgie’s trying to throw balls at you to make you buy one. Don’t fall for it! Take time to explore the streets off the main road. This fabulous coffee, cake, gelato and granita shop was my favourite stop as they served the largest marzipan fruits I have ever seen!
Pasticceria Gelateria Mandolfiore Via Ducezio 2, 96017 Noto, Sicily, Italy
Check out my top tips for driving in Sicily and other posts here: http://unescochallenge.com/italy/sicily/