Monday, March 1, 2010

Noto, Sicily

After our late lunch, we decided to visit the town of Noto, which was also recommended by the restaurant owners.  But first we made a stop at a pasticceria in another small town in the middle of nowhere to pick up some chocolates that we had tasted at the restaurant.  That's how crazy we are when it comes to food but that's another story.

The roads through the country side were small and winding.  By the time we arrived in Noto it was dark.  But we were able to see the Baroque-style buildings all lit up. 

The old Noto was destroyed in a violent earthquake in 1693, and was then completely rebuilt from scratch in an almost entirely Baroque style.  We walked down the main street, Corso Vittoria Emanuele, from where we could see many of the crumbling Baroque palaces, churches and houses. 

The restoration of the Duomo was recently completed and stands grandly on top of staircase.  All the buildings were really grand and impressive.


At the time we were there, we were the only tourists around, probably because it was getting late and it was low season.  I didn't see anyone else with a camera.  The locals were definitely looking at us strange.

S recalled his last visit here with a colleague from Milan who was also there for work.  They decided to pay Noto a visit one evening after work.  Imagine the scene: two young clean cut men who were clearly from the North, strolling the streets of Noto.  They had fit the perfect image of two new carabinieri (a special branch of the armed forces with police functions) in town and the locals were all looking at them with suspicion and distrust.  This time around, we were feeling rather conspicuous, but probably nothing like S' last visit.


Anonymous said...

Racist! Apparently according to you Sicilian men in general are not " clean cut" especially the young ones. When is this racist hatred against Sicilian people going to end?

Sheryl said...

I won't deny that stereotypes exist even in Italy, but that hardly means feelings of hatred. Far from it. I loved my experience in Sicily. And if anyone should be on the receiving end of racism in this country, that would be the foreigners... some of whom work hard for a decent living but are looked down upon just the same.

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