In a region where there are plenty of olive and almond trees, Noto is a little baroque jewel placed on a plateau dominating the valley of Asinaro, covered with citrus trees.
Its beauty is so harmonious that it doesn't seem real. The city in fact was built as if it were a scene from a play, studying and modifying the perspective in a singular way, playing with the lines and the curves of the facades with the decorations of the shelves, the curls and the swirls, the masks, the puttoes, the balconies and the parapets which are in wright-iron are folded in graceful and round shapes.
The palaces are majestic and built with the soft and compact calcareous stone of the place; over the years the candour of the stone was naturally enriched with golden and pink shades, accentuated by the light of the sunset.
Among the most beautiful celebrations in Sicily is the festivity of Saint Conrad, patron and protector of the baroque city of Noto (Siracusa), whose procession is held twice every year (four, considering the eighth) on February 19th and on the last Sunday of August, when it is commemorated the beatification of the Saint, which took place on August 28th, 1515. Corrado Confalonieri was a knight from Piacenza, who was said to be “saved from the fire by the hand of God”, and decided to become a hermit in Sicily. He performed many miracles; it is said that when he died, on February 19th 1351, the bells of the city started ringing by themselves.
On August 19th, the urn which contains the body of the Saint (seven sarcophagi) is carried on the shoulders by the bearers – followed by the Confraternities and by the “Cili” large decorated candles supported by wooden stems, which represent the story of the Saint's life. They are followed by the musical band and by the faithfuls, who choose to make their vote during the "journey scausu" (barefoot journey) and walk from their city to the historical centre. The following Sunday, the EIGHTH of the festival, the procession of the patron saint takes place again in the afternoon. Every ten years, the urn of St. Conrad is brought in solemn procession to the Hermitage – Shrine dedicated to the Saint, which is located five kilometres away from the city.