Oldest Noto and Carousel Gorge

The excursion to Oldest Noto and Carousel Gorge combines archeology, history and nature.
The program of the day includes an excursion to the site of Oldest Noto (the ruins of old Noto town) and  the Carousel Gorge. The site of “Oldest Noto” is characterized by its position, perched on the Hyblean plateaus, and for its beautiful scenery. The site was founded as Neai, the old capital for the Sicels, one of the populations who lived on this land before the Greeks arrived, becoming later Roman, Byzantine and Arab and Spanish… until it was completely destroyed by the 1693 earthquake. Nevertheless it is still possible today to walk around the impressive ruins of the old capital. Beside the archeological site, one of the canyon in this region, the Carousel Gorge, famous for its springs, for the prosperous nature and the Byzantine tanneries.

Included: Transfer service, professional naturalistic guide.

Optional: Tasting of local products: Ricotta Cheese, Olive Oil, Homemade Bread, Pecorino Cheese.

20,00 euro per person

Informations and suggestions

It is important to be equipped with trekking shoes or at least good sport shoes, a rucksack, a wind jacket and a change of clothes.

Program and times may vary due to adverse conditions or force majeure

Oldest Noto and Carousel Gorge

Oldest  Noto

Noto Antica is the old city of Neas or Neaton, destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. Under the roman domination the city receives the status of Municipium and, after the Byzantine and Arab period, it becomes civitas ingegnosa under Ferdinand the Catholic. Between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries it was home to many prominent figures, becoming one of the major cultural, military and economic centers of south-eastern Sicily. The city, surrounded by imposing walls (many of which still standing) and deep valleys, was never taken by force. Only the violent earthquake of 1693 succeeded in destroying it.

The Carousel Gorge

The Carosello canyon, located west of Noto Antica ( the town ruins from the 1693 earthquake) is hollowed in limestone and sandstone. The river ( its flow changes according to the season) that runs into the canyon is fed by perennial springs, and for centuries it has supplied many mills and rupestrian tanneries (some of them of considerable size). In operation since 1400, they work the leather and the “albascio”, a type of heavy wool. The tanning was a flourishing industrial activity for Noto, it provided large businesses to local aristocracy, especially during the sixteenth century. Today the site is a destination for many hikers who decide to visit it.

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