Noto is a very special town. Where the majority of historical Italian towns bear witness to the changing styles of the centuries with the accompanying jumble of public buildings and private dwellings, Noto offers something quite different. On the 11th January 1693, the town, like many others in the area, was literally obliterated by a huge earthquake. There was just about nothing left by the time the earthquake had finished. Today, months and even years would pass before someone managed to get through all the red tape and commence the rebuilding of the town. But in those days things were different. They started work on the rebuilding project just one week after the quake! The work was entrusted to the Duke of Camastra, Giuseppe Lanza, who launched a revolutionary plan. Public and religious buildings on one side, and private accommodation on the other; the two were to be separated and each have their own half of the town. Everything should be constructed in the then fashionable Baroque style – and indeed it was! So today, Noto is a unique example of a perfect Baroque town. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés and Noto is generally an ideal base for a visiting southeast Sicily. The town is also renowned for its "la infiorata" festival. This is a festival where some of the town’s streets are covered in fantastic patterns made from fresh flowers in a beautiful array of colours.