More than any other city , Syracuse encapsulates Sicily’s timeless beauty. Ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards, cafe tales spill onto dazzling baroque piazzas, and honey –hued medieval lanes lead down to the sparkling blue sea. In its heyday this was the largest city in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens and Corinth. Almost three millennia later, the ruins of that then-new city constitute the Archeological Park of Neapolis, one of Sicily’s greatest archeological sites. Across the water from the mainland, Ortygia remains the city’s most beautiful corner, a casually chic , eclectic marvel with an ever-growing legion of fans.
A labyrinth of atmospheric alleyways and refined piazzas, Ortygia is really what Syracuse is all about. Skinny lanes are lined with attractive palazzi , vibrant eateries and cafes , and the central square – Piazza Duomo , is one of Sicily’s most spectacular. In Ortygia there is Fonte Aretusa, a water source with its papyrus plants which is one of the most important monuments of the city.
40 km away from Syracuse there is Noto, an architectural supermodel, a gorgeous baroque city you might mistake it for a film set. The town is home to one of Sicily’s most beautiful historic centres. The pièce of résistance is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, an elegant walkway flanked by thrilling baroque palazzo and churches.
Although Noto has existed here for many centuries, the Noto that you see today dates to the early 18th century , when it was almost entirely rebuilt in the wake of the devastating 1693 earthquake. Noto is hypnotic for its beauty , especially in the early evening when the red-gold buildings seem to glow with a soft inner light.
Part of this description belongs to Lonely Planet travel guide