Arrived to Catania by Alitalia. Took rent-a-car there. Then rushed to the city center to see the market. Wow! Spent the rest of the day strolling around Catania and then took a short ride to Taormina. For sure these places are worth visiting but since I have been there many times I just enjoyed the first night at Gran Hotel Timeo in Taormina and a drink at the magnificent garden of San Domenico Palace Hotel + a walk to teatro greco, of course! Well, what I was so excited to see this time are the small towns south of Catania: Noto, Schicli, Modica and a slightly bigger Siracusa. I will remember that magnificent, opulent baroque that you can see and feel everywhere: in food, people, buildings, churches, smells… everything was overwhelming at the beginning of May. Including my guest house The seven rooms Villadorata in Noto.
This place is located in the historic center in one of the most opulent baroque palazzos in Noto that was once home of the prince Nicolaci. I thought that the place was a perfect match between the old and the updated comfort that we all like to have on holidays. The place has huge suites with beautiful bathrooms and many pass through rooms to sit down and chill out. The breakfast is served on the terrace overlooking the old town.
In Noto we discovered another amazing place which was just around the corner of our hotel: restaurant Manna. This place had excellent food and the interiors, the atmosphere and the guests looked like we were in London or New York.
Noto was a perfect place for day trips to other towns and beaches which are never more than 1 hour away. You do not need a guide book for this part of Sicily. The best way to explore it is to loose yourself and go by feeling. I plan to return to Sicily soon.