The Invisible City of Noto Antica

In 1692 a devastating earthquake destroyed much of  south eastern Sicily including the ancient city of Noto.

Rather than re build the lost  city , it was decided to re build a new one about ten kilometres away . That city is now the Baroque classic of Noto , a UNESCO world heritage site

Norman castle remains
Norman castle remains


Nearly 400 years later Ancient Noto, or Noto Antica , situated  on a hilly outcrop nearby, remains buried . It has been described as the Pompei of Sicily . Rubble, rock and ruins can occasionally be sited in the deep undergrowth that has long taken hold and covered the lost city.

The history of Ancient Noto stretches back to a time before the Greeks arrived here.

In 866 it was conquered by the Saracens . It remained their last outpost against the Normans who invaded and took control of the island in 1091

The remains of the impregnable Norman castle , one of the few buildings not to buried , can be seen.

It’s possible to hike this ancient and now peaceful place .It is an evocative  site whose scant ruins have inspired writers, artists and photographers and those looking to get away from it all.