From Noto there are quite a few historic cities worth visiting nearby if you have the time: Ragusa is an hour’s drive northwest of Noto but well worth the trip. Ragusa Ibla is famous for its incredible cultural attractions such as the Giardino Ibleo and its Mother Church. It’s made up of two parts: the ancient Ibla and the modern city. Ragusa Ibla, the old town, is home to many Baroque buildings including the Duomo di San Giorgio and there are plenty of Greek ruins to explore and pristine beaches to enjoy nearby. Ragusa Ibla has some enjoyable events and fascinating ancient traditions and festivals such as the Ibla Buskers Festival, a festival of music, theatre, circus and comical puppets which surround the square; the Ibla Grand Prize, an international music competition and the Celebration of St. George, the patron saint of Ragusa. If all of the wandering and exploring has built up an appetite Ristorante Duomo serves authentic Sicilian dishes in style. This two Michelin star restaurant is led by Ciccio Sultano whose focus is on using the freshest fish from the sea and the best local ingredients. This is a great choice for families and they’re more than happy to produce kid-friendly dishes. The bakers I Banchi is under the same ownership and bakes fresh bread daily using ancient, often forgotten flours. Castelvetrano bread made from Timilia flour is worth a try. Not tried an ice-cream sandwich (three scoops of ice cream in a brioche bun)? It’s one of Sicily’s specialties and Ragusa is the place to try it at Gelati DiVini known for its unusual flavors including Moscato Fantasia di Limone.
Marina di Ragusa is a southern Italian village and hamlet of Ragusa, awarded a Blue flag status for its sandy beaches and clear shallow waters . Marina di Ragusa is located in the heart of Val di Noto, rich in Baroque monuments and archaeological ruins of ancient civilizations and is just over an hour from Noto. Yacht owners can land and moor their boat in Marina di Ragusa which is supported by the shipyard and where day trips can be organized.
If you’re a fan of Inspector Montalbano only a few miles from Marina di Ragusa, in Punta Secca, there’s a house on the beach which is used as one of the set locations for the TV series “Inspector Montalbano” where you can take a photo in front of the famous Sicilian policeman’s house or have a relaxing swim in the sea. Marina di Ragusa is an ideal location for families both during the day with beautiful beaches and during the evening when the waterfront Andrea Doria comes alive and has plenty of waterfront bars, creperies and stalls selling toys, candy and jewelry.
The two other nearby beach resorts of Pozzallo, S.Maria del Focallo (Ispica) have been awarded as well with a Blue Flag status. The beach of Camarina is a lovely beach resort accessible via land and sea, which stretches along the south east coast of Sicily about 19 miles/30 km from Ragusa. The wide golden beach has gently sloping shallow waters and it’s just over half a mile (1 km) long from Scoglitti to Punta Braccetto. Brilliant for families this beach is free and has a beach club renting sun loungers and umbrellas and there’s a restaurant and bar making it the perfect day-long trip.