If you enter in the town from the east side you will pass under the Royal Gate that will leads you to the mai street Corso Vittorio Emauele, Noto’s heart. Ferdinando of Borbons on the 1838 did the same thong, inaugurating this monument. Look on the top: there are three symbolical sculptures: the tower , that means the power; a greyhound, the loyalty; on the center a pelican , the abnegation. Even this Royal Gate was built with the golden yellow limestone. When the sun fall down you can see how this warm colour melt with the sun lights creating a very romantic atmosphere.
Enjoy the walk, on the right, over Immacolata square, you’ll meet The church of San Francesco all’Immacolata, that grows on a impressive stairway. Inside this eighteen century church, a central nave, in order to the Franciscan way, you can find withe wall decorated with rococo golden plasters. Annexed to the churh there is the Franciscan convent.
This is only one of the various churches that you will find along the main street. You Know that Noto was rebuilted after a strong earthquake; this fact allowed architects to have most freedom in plannig, in fact they created an urbanistic system almost scenographic. The most important three streets are all oriented from east to west in order to be always light up by the sun, the urbanistic plan provides also that they will be destined to the three main social class: the main street to the clergy, that’s why you’ll meet a lot of churches along the way ion this street; the superior to the noble class, and the lower to the people.
Santa Chiara Church, on the left side of the main street, expresses a baroque style so delicated. Inside, small and oval, is decorated with golden plasters and angels, and is harmonized by his twelve columns. Have a look to the annexed cloistered convent, it’s an interesting world and from the terrace you can enjoy a beautiful sight.
The Cathedral, rise on the the top of a monumental stairway. It was built a few months after the eathquake, but works finished only on 1770. The facade, rather bare of decorations and extravagances, takes over baroque motifs and classical elements. The three church’s naves are separated by high columns. At the bottom of the right nave you can find the chapel where is saved the silver urn of the patron saint of the town S. Corrado. Someone of us remember the collapse of the dome on 1996; it took ten years for its rebuilding, the architects used modern tecnique combine with those of the eighteenth century and with the original materials. A hard work, today it’s the symbol of this area’s renaissance, and now you can find it in the list of UNESCO world heritage.
In front of the Cathedral you can find Ducezio Palace, home of the town hall. it was planned by the architect Sinatra, it’s in a different level from the square where it rises. It was built between 1746 and 1830 in one floor building; in the Fifties there was built another floor modifying the original neoclassical style. Inside there is a beautiful representation hall rich of golden plasters.
walking along our way we can find Nicolaci Street, also famous for Infiorata festival, that seams closed on the bottom by Montevergini Church, with its concave facade between two bells. On the left, yout eyes will be catched by the rounded balconies of Nicolaci Villadorata Palace that represent the most striking baroque expression. The shelves that support them have various shapes from animals to abstract figures. The palace was built on 1731, its architect, Nicolaci, planned ninety rooms, with fresco vault and painting of eighteenth century. It was the residence of Villadorata Prince dinasty for a long time.
On May, Nicolaci Street is the protagonist of the famous and traditional festival Infiorata. Lots of artists teams make a mosaic of pictures with colourful flowers’ petals, that forms a carpet that covers the street’s cobblestone. every year it’s inspired by a different theme.
Going ahead, on the main street we can find Chiesa di San Carlo e il Collegio dei Gesuiti with it’s big facade in four columns supported by monstrous masks. From the church , rich the top of the bell to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view over the town centre.
At the end of the main street you can find XVI Maggio square with San Domenico Church, Ercole’s garden and its fountain, and some benches to have a little rest. here in front of you there is Tina Di Loreno theatre in its neoclassical style and elegance.