4 reasons to visit stunning Sicily this September

Frequented by rockstars including the Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger and Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall and fashionistas such as Audrey Hepburn, there is a reason why Sicily’s lesser-known UNESCO World Heritage destination, Val di Noto, Sicily, is the perfect late-summer sojourn.

From its rich history dating back from 644 BC, charming stone-paved streets and soft ochre-coloured towns and villages, with Baroque-style architecture, we have rounded-up the four best reasons to visit this destination, coupled with a stay at transformed 18th century masseria, Il San Corrado di Noto, once owned by Sicilian royalty, Prince Nicolaci.

A fashion hot spot for those in the know

Boutique shops and designer stores are aplenty in Sicily’s town of Taormina Image credit: mazzzur/Bigstock.com

With Dior bringing its new Dioriviera beach collection to seasonal stores in nearby town, Taormina, Val di Noto has become a secret jet-setter hot spot for those in the know. Fashion lovers can serve up their most lavish looks, while rubbing shoulders with celebrities and fashionistas alike, including the likes of Mick Jagger, Mick Hucknall, Tom Cruise, Eva Longoria and more.

The destination is now more sought-after than ever, by the most stylistic travelers and a stay at Il San Corrado di Noto offers the perfect hidden gem for visitors who wish to be wined and dined or spotted, by the resort’s a range of A- List destination dressing and A-Lister guests.

A slice of rich, authentic Italian history

Facade of the Noto Cathedral, a masterpiece of the Sicilian Baroque and major landmark in Noto. Image credit: marcorubino/Bigstock.com

Located on the south-eastern tip of the island, otherwise known as the cradle of the Baroque, the towns and villages of Noto were destroyed following a devastating earthquake in 1693 and later rebuilt seven kilometers from the original walls of the town.

Famed for its eight beautiful towns, built in Baroque-style architecture featuring awe-inspiring, soft earthy-toned buildings, the region has been described as ‘the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe’. History lovers can discover the region’s plethora of churches and cathedrals, palaces, rich monuments and archaeological sites, distinctive art, abandoned villas, and narrow, stone-paved streets.

Disconnect from everyday life and reconnect with nature

Il San Corrado di Noto swimming pool
travelers longing to soothe the mind, body and soul can relax by one of Il San Corrado di Noto’s two outdoor swimming pools

From rolling meadows and vast olive groves, to the picture-perfect Sicilian coastline surrounding the medieval villages, guests can embrace a slower-pace of life and spend their days venturing out on hiking, biking, walking, driving, bird-watching or snorkelling excursions , discovering the very best of the breath-takingly beautiful landscapes, including national treasure, Vendicari Nature Reserve.

What’s more, travelers longing to soothe the mind, body and soul can relax by one of Il San Corrado di Noto’s two outdoor swimming pools, including an expansive 100m long pool – one of Sicily’s largest – overlooking the dreamy nature nestling the resort and boasting total privacy. After a day of exploring, head to the Resort Spa, comprising a hammam, Finnish sauna, frigidarium, solarium and relaxation space for a truly indulgent experience.

Other off-site experiences include visits to an ancient traditional plant and herb farm learning hand-farming methods and trips to the secret, hidden villages of the Hyblaean Mountains with a local guide, truffle hunting experiences, or for sun drenched days, the resort is home to a private beach club, located just a short drive from the property, accessible via a complimentary shuttle service. Here, guests can choose from sunbeds lining the soft white sands and unspoilt views of Sicily, looking out onto the warm azure blues of the Mediterranean.

Taste of Sicily’s sensational gastronomic offering

  Il San Corrado di Noto food
For a truly authentic Italian dining experience, foodies are invited to Il San Corrado di Noto’s two restaurants

With an amalgamated antiquity of conquerors, including the Phoenicians, Arabs, Greeks, Romans and Bourbons, it is not surprising that Sicily is celebrated for its sensational cuisine. Bursting with tradition, flavors and cultural influences, epicureans can sample their way through Val di Noto’s extraordinary gastronomic offering. From ancient food markets and snack stalls, to gelaterias and destination dining, there is something for everyone.

For a truly authentic Italian dining experience, foodies are invited to Il San Corrado di Noto’s two restaurants: Osteria Casa Pasta for a relaxed Sicilian fare of Parmigiana appetisers and Maccheroncelli pasta dishes made with fresh seafood straight from the nearby Mediterranean Ocean; or Principe di Belludia, for an up-scale sensory trip of magnificently presented dishes that employ refined baroque techniques and experimental cooking styles.

Oenophiles can also immerse themselves in the resort’s wine cellar, Cantina. Home to a selection of locally produced, award-winning wines from the island’s top wineries, including Zisola, Planeta, Terrasol and star of the moment, Arianna Occhipinti, the Il San Corrado di Noto sommeliers are on-hand to ensure that guests’ palates are pleased, while taken on a tasteful, laid-back journey through Sicily and wider Italy, sampling and savoring national specialities.

How: Rates at Il San Corrado di Noto start from €590 (currently approx. £496) per night on a B&B basis. The hotel is an hour’s drive from Catania airport. Direct flights to Catania from London, Bristol and Manchester.

About Il San Corrado di Noto

Il San Corrado di Noto is a former masseria, once the abode of Prince Nicolaci

Opening for its first full season in April 2022, Il San Corrado di Noto is a former masseria, once the abode of Prince Nicolaci and is the first boutique resort of its kind in the enchanting Val di Noto – Sicily’s renowned UNESCO World Heritage destination.

Surrounded by stunning citrus and olive groves, carefully protected during the property’s restoration, and breath-taking views, the resort has been thoughtfully converted into an idyllic, all-suite retreat, following a meticulous three-year transformation. Home to just 26 stylish suites and eight pool villas, the resort offers an abundance of space and privacy, exceptional service, and destination expertise – introducing a new level of contemporary luxury to the Sicilian countryside, drawing in the discerning traveler to this historic part of Italy.

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