Old Noto and Cava Carosello
Did you know that there is another Noto, older than the late Baroque city, and completely surrounded by wilderness? We’re talking of ancient Neetum, a town perched on Mount Alveria. It has been an impregnable fortress throughout its history. The 1693 earthquake destroyed most of the Val di Noto and forced the city authorities to leave the old site and rebuild the town eight kilometres downstream, towards the sea. But the old Baroque town is still there: As if time has stood still.
The imposing city walls are waiting for you, once inside, you will see the remains of the Royal Castle with the Arms Hall and the stables. Also the ruins of the towers and the old prison (where you can see lots of graffiti and the sculptures carved by convicts) which are definitely worth a visit.
After a tour of the castle, you follow the path and can enjoy some free time in the nature. Along the way, you will feel like you’re on a journey through time and history, you can walk among remains from Greek times (Heroon and the Gymnasium), Byzantine catacombs and Jewish tombs.
Up to this point the route is quite easy. If you’re looking for adventure, nature and walks of medium difficulty, then you can head into the Carosello Quarry. Once here you can hear blackbirds whistling, the sound of rushing water and the smell of lesser calaminth. It is a true oasis for body and mind. If you go there during summer, you can swim and relax in one of the small lakes of the Asinaro River.
Along the river you can also admire the leather processing vats of the old medieval tanneries, which are still very well preserved.