The chic town of Scicli (pronounced shi-kli) is a 50-minute drive and is just a hop and skip from the beaches of Sampieri and Donnalucata. Scicli, like Noto and many other towns in the area was totally rebuilt after the earthquake in 1693 in Baroque style. Church admirers and culture junkies will appreciate the lovely churches of Sant’Ignazio, San Matteo, San Bartolomeo and Santa Marìa la Nova. Wander up Via Matrice and meander through a local’s neighborhood until you reach Chiesa di San Matteo at the top of the hill, unknown to most visitors. Soak up the stunning view of the town, as it comes into view you can’t help but reflect in awe on the human triumph of reconstructing such a magnificent setting after suffering from such a catastrophic earthquake. While strolling along the quiet cobbled streets of Scicli, among little cosy cafes and charming small restaurants, do not miss a visit to the marvelous Palazzo Beneventano recently known for the inspector Montalbano office in the worldwide famous tv serie. Do not miss Sampieri, a tiny ancient marine village near Scicli which boasts a stretch of golden sand lapped by crystal clear waters. Known for its rocky cliffs it’s one of the prettiest seaside spots along the Mediterranean coast.