Noto is one of eight Baroque towns that were built after a devastating earthquake that hit the region in 1693. It is another magnificent Baroque charmer in the southeast corner of Sicily. We stopped to visit this town on a day when the temperature climbed to 45 degrees Celsius 113 degrees Fahrenheit. A very hot wind called the Sirocco blew in from Africa causing the temperatures to soar. I am from Miami, yet this was the hottest I have ever felt. Thankfully, there appeared an oasis from the heat named Caffe Sicilia. This is a special place in Sicily that serves some of the finest gelato, granita, cannoli, and pastries in the area. It opened in 1892 and is now run by pastry chef Corrado Assenza a fourth generation owner. We tried three flavors of granita – sour cherry, classic lemon, and my personal favorite cappuccino ghiacciato. This is an iced coffee with almond milk granita. The gelato sampler was equally as exotic. The chocolate gelato was laced with cinnamon, orange, and candied orange peels. My husband Chris thought the cannoli he tasted was the best of our trip. He ordered a second one, even though he just finished the gelato sampler. The heat was hot but the treats at Caffe Sicilia cooled us enough to venture outside with smiles on our faces.
Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 125 Noto, Sicily