THE “VAL DI NOTO” (VALLEY OF NOTO)
On the 26th of June 2002 the UNESCO included in the World Heritage List eight towns in south-eastern Sicily: Caltagirone, Militello Val di Catania, Catania, Modica, Noto, Palazzolo, Ragusa and Scicli. The district is called Val di Noto and is located at Noth-East of Ibla. All of these eight cities have been rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building.
The two nearest cities (with respect to Ibla) are Modica and Scicli.
Modica has been for a long time the principal center of the homonymous county and was probably the most important city of the district before Ragusa and Ibla being reunited in the actual seat of province. Modica is a fervid cultural center with clubs, pubs, restaurants and a very active theatre. It hosts also a yearly appointment (in December during 2014) within the EuroChocolate programme; the festival is dedicated to the promotion of the Cioccolato di Modica, a special kind of chocolate made with an ancient Aztec recipe handed over by the Benedictin monks.
Scicli is a small pearl set into a breath-taking landscape. It’s surely the ideal destination for a relaxing summertime evening but it can be surely visited all the year to admire the elegant baroque palaces and to have a look at the small artisan workshops still hosted in caves dug in the white calcareous stone. For its rare beauty it has been chosen numerous times as set for the TV-series of Inspector Montalbano.