Winding our way through more Sicilian back lanes and byways, we commented that the roads we’ve travelled are really in good shape. They are well-maintained, clean, and smooth. Nice!
Today we left Modica (sadly) but are moving only about 30 minutes to Avola, just a bit farther north on the coast. On our way, we decided to spend the day in Noto, a Baroque gem not to be missed.
Noto was completely destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1693. Within the week, three architects came forward and began to plan a new town, about 10 km. from the devastated center. The result is another UNESCO world heritage site of buildings in the baroque style, constructed of local compacted limestone which reflects the sun’s rays.
Here’s the equivalent of the Lower Milford township building with its Hall of Mirrors and frescoed ceiling. The painting appears 3-dimensional. I don’t think we have mirrors OR painted ceilings in Lower Milford.
The Basilica of San Nicolo lost its dome to a structural collapse in 1996. The dome has been re-constructed and the entire interior is being renovated. This is how Italians do it:
During a tour of Chiesa San Francisco d’Assissi we learned that this church is no longer open for mass, but is a seminary for 35 priests. We climbed to the top of the bell tower.
At one time the church was used as a convent. Interestingly, it was for daughters of noble families. Just curious why they’d want to keep their potential blood lines locked up in convents.
Soon we noticed that the church bells were ringing, shop owners were closing their doors, so that could only mean one thing. La pausa . . . .lunchtime. Because it was Monday, the first two recommended tratttorie were closed, but once again, we hit pay dirt on the third. Following signs back an unlikely-looking vico. . .alley. . .we discovered Trattoria Ducezio.
We ordered three dishes to share. The first. . .Rustico Antipasti with a mound of succulent sardines, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, marinated onions and peppers, cheese, salumi.
Next, a salad of orange, onion, fennel, and pistachio .
We were already full, but had ordered mixed fish with couscous. amazing !
After a bit more sightseeing in Noto, namely. . .