Noto, east Sicily

East of Sicily

Visiting east of Sicily was a part of our trip to  southern Italy  and Etna.

Arrival to Sicily

We arrived to Sicilian town Messina on a ferry from Villa San Giovanny Imbrachi late in the evening. Messina id the third biggest city of Sicily.

Crossing was pretty quick as there are only about ten kilometres between these towns by the sea. We might be very lucky as immediately after arrival at ferry port we got tickets and boarded the ferry straight away. Price for a person traveling by car is about 20 euros.


After exit ferry in Messina, we immediately continued our way to Acireale, direction to Taormina/Catania, where we had booked a guesthouse for a few nights before going to the western part of the island.


Acireale is a small gorgeous coastal town in the east of Sicily, not far from Catania, which is the second biggest city in Sicily after Palermo.

When we arrived, it was very close to midnight. It took a while to find the exact location of our guesthouse, although it is very usual in Italy if you do not have exact coordinates. After a little while of waiting at gates, we were met by guesthouse manager and happily went to sleep after a very long and exhausting day of traveling.



As we had previously planned, our first full day on Sicily was dedicated to visiting east of Sicily; our first destination was Syracuse (Siracusa). Syracuse is the fourth biggest city in Sicily; it is widely known from the ancient times and is connected to Greek and Roman history. The city was established by Greeks 2700 years ago and was a powerful city-state for many centuries. Syracuse was the main city of Sicily until Palermo became a capital of Kingdom of Sicily.

Street of Noto, Sicily

We had a walk along the city walls, visited old towns and had a nice lunch in a restaurant on the seashore. The city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and definitely deserves it because its architectural and historic heritage.


Another interesting town in the east of Sicily is Noto. Noto is located about 35 kilometres to the south-west from Syracuse. The town has very rich architectural heritage; as late Baroque Town, Noto together with seven other towns of the Val di Noto area was included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2002.

isola bella
Isola Bella

We spent rest of the day walking around the town and taking many photographs. there are many beautiful buildings and stairs in Noto as the town is built on hills. One of the most beautiful places, in my opinion, is the central square with fountains.


Another day, we visited Taormina, which is located in the east of Sicily, between Catania and Messina. Taormina is busy tourist destination due to its location on the cost of Ionian sea. I enjoyed beautiful views during uphill and downhill driving and walking. However, the main thing still remaining in my memory is Isola Bella island, which is located just about a hundred metres from the shore. Isola Bella (beautiful island) is really beautiful and view towards it from the shore is fantastic. Just to mention that coffee, espresso and ice cream offered in cafes on the coast are very good.