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Noto, Province of Siracusa, Sicily

Noto, 20 miles southwest of Siracusa, in its present form was rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693. The older town, Noto Antico, lies 5 miles to the north, and rose in the place of ancient Netum, left to Hiero II by the Romans by the treaty of 263 BC and mentioned by Cicero as a foederata civitas (=allied town).

Info

  • Altitude: 152 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 22,000 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 96017
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0931
  • Frazioni & Localities: Noto Marina.

What to see

  • Four miles to the south of Noto, on the left bank of the Tellaro river stands a stone column about 35 feet in height, which is believed to be a memorial of the surrender of Nicias. This is uncertain; but, in any case, in the 3rd century BC a tomb was excavated in the rectangular area which surrounds it, destroying apparently a pre-existing tomb. The later burial belongs to the necropolis of the small town of Heloron, 750 yards to the southeast, some remains of which have been discovered. It was a small advanced post of Syracuse, belonging probably to the 6th century BC.

History

The remains of the ancient city are almost entirely hidden beneath the ruins of the medieval town, except three chambers cut in the rock, one of which is shown, by an inscription in the library at Noto, to have belonged to the gymnasium, while the other two were "heroa" (=shrines of heroes). Explorations have brought to light four cemeteries of the third Sicel period, and one of the Greek period, of the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. There are also catacombs of the Christian period and some Byzantine tombs.

Where to stay