The 2018 has just started and we would like to introduce you to our new monthly appointment.
Italy is an amazing country and every region has its own characteristics and specificity. Besides the iconic and most renowned sites, there’s a lot to see and do.
Every month we will focus on one destination giving information about the specific area, what to see and do thanks to the experiences and itineraries designed by our local expert buddies.
We really hope this can help you in selling better and better Italy, beyond the classic routes.
Classic with a difference…
EASTERN SICILY & VAL DI NOTO
The southernmost tip of Sicily has an incredible concentration of cultural elements from UNESCO’s heritage and the historical and artistic richness goes along with the variety of natural landscapes!
Yellow is the main colour here: it is found in the monuments’ stone, in the beaches’ sand, in sunrays that kiss this land…
WILD NATURE & SUGGESTIVE LANDSCAPES
The monumental wealth of the Val di Noto is concentrated in a landscape of rare beauty that, from the Hyblaean mountains to the wavy lines of the Erean Mountains, astonishes for the variety of its landscapes, colours, and sensations offered. Through the infinite network of dry stone walls, which rises and falls among Hyblean quarries and plateaus, you can understand how powerful the human contribution was to the transformation of these places. And again the sea, whose infinite shades going from the blue of the Maddalena peninsula and the turquoise of the waters of the Riserva di Vendicari amazes even the most inattentive travellers.
ARCHEOLOGY & CULTURE: from Necropolises to Late Baroque towns
This area was heavily attended from as early as the pre-and proto-historic period, as evidenced by the suggestive necropolises with artificial caves-shape carved on the steep rocky walls of Cava d’ Ispica and Pantalica
Roman, Greek, Arab and Byzantine civilizations have been alternating for centuries., making this part of Sicily a huge container of various cultural and environmental aspects. Not surprisingly, the Val di Noto boasts a high concentration of sites included in the World Heritage List of Unesco, such as Syracuse, the rocky necropolis of Pantalica and the late Baroque towns of Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Noto, Palazzolo Acreide, Caltagirone, Militello in Val di Catania and Catania.
After the terrible earthquakes of 1693, brilliant architects and master builders, from France, Germany, Austria built the new cities according to the European architectural style of the time, which was late Baroque. Thus arose, even more radiant than before, the late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto, recognised in 2002 by Unesco as “considerable collective enterprise, successfully brought to a high level of architectural and artistic fulfillment”.
WINE & FOOD
Finally, we cannot talk about Val di Noto, without making a brief reference to some of its food and wine products. Following the infinite range of colours, one goes from ruby red wine of the Nero d’Avola to the radiant one of the Pomodoro of Pachino. From the red violet wine of DOC Eloro Pachino, based on grapes Nero d’Avola, to that brown of the tuna caught in the Ionian Sea. From the golden green of the PDO Oil “Monti Iblei”, to the amber colour of the honey of Sortino. From the intense yellow of the Ragusa PDO cheese, to the blossom white of the Hyblean ricotta cheese. Ultimately, the thousand colours of pastry-making that, from Noto to Ragusa passing through the chocolate shops of Modica, cheer the counters of the patisseries and cafes of this incredible area up (brighten up joyously).
EXPERIENCES IN VAL DI NOTO:
- Historic tours with Archeologist: Visit Protohistoric Necropolis & Archeological Parks with a true expert
- Cultural Tours with History & Art expert: Discover the incredible beauty of Syracusa, Noto and the Baroque towns
- Cultural & Natural trekking: hike among prehistoric rock-cut tombs and medieval rupestrian settlements in the natural canyon of Cava d’Ispica and enjoy lunch in a shelter among the cliffs or walk among nature from upper Ragusa to Ragusa Ibla , enjoy the silence and peace trekking in the Natural Marine Reserve of Vendicari
- Along the Tuna Routes: Visit the Tuna Fisheries of Vendicari & Marzamemi and learn everything about Tuna Routes from the history of tuna-fishing in Sicily to the tasting of Tuna products
- Cook & Taste: meet the local producers like the mums of the “Women winery” of Paternò where tastes and smells will take you back to rural cooking of days gone by
- Farmer for one day: learn how to work diligently with milk to create the delicious Ricotta cheese, fresh mozzarella and other typical Sicilian cheeses, followed by a lunch in a friendly feeling of a small and intimate group of food lovers
- The Chocolate Factory: enter the magical world of Modica’s chocolate (the oldest chocolate in Europe) by visiting a sustainable laboratory and prepare your own chocolate bar with local pistachios and oranges followed by a guided tasting
- The Red Colours of Pachino tomatoes: visit a farm specialized in the production and processing of dried tomatoes. Here we will enjoy a small tasting itinerary
- Street Food & Market Tour: Eat like a local among stalls of vegetables, nuts, fruits, cheeses, meats and fresh fishes while soaking up the market’s friendly and warm ambiance. Your guide will introduce you to some of the traders here, who’ll happily let you sample some of their high-quality offerings
How to get there: Fly to Catania or Comiso
Best period to travel: Spring and Autumn, from March to End of June & from September to Late October. Avoid August, too hot and crowded!
Means of transport: On the island moving by public transportation can be very hard. We suggest to hire a car or take private tranfers.
Or Send us a request for a CUSTOMIZED ITINERARY