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Why Noto, Sicily Is Becoming a Hot-Spot Travel Destination for Hollywood

As travel restrictions continue to ease around the world, Hollywood stars have returned to their international jet-setting ways.

Sicily has been one of Hollywood’s favorite vacation spots this year. Jon Hamm, Harrison Ford and Stanley Tucci have all been spotted vacationing on the Mediterranean island, given that it is a place where travelers can immerse themselves in the rich Mediterranean culture of the area. Some stars are even choosing to establish a more permanent residence on the island, as Sicily’s upscale real estate clientele continues to expand.

In the early days of the pandemic, Italy was one of the first countries affected by the rapid spread of the coronavirus. News of strict closures, devastating losses and overwhelmed hospitals ushered in things to come for countries around the world in 2020. Today, the tourist hotspot has apparently rebounded from its days locked up.

More specifically, Noto, a city in southeastern Sicily known for its Baroque architecture, has gained increasing popularity. With around 30,000 residents, Noto is a small and vibrant city with important architectural buildings and nature reserves, located a short distance from the beaches of Sicily.

Sotheby’s International Realty Italia Residential Sales Director Diletta Giorgolo Spinola spoke with Newzpanda on why Sicily has caught the eye of Hollywood, including Los Angeles residents seeking second homes in the area.

“The weather is extremely beautiful and mild in winter,” Spinola said. “It is a mix of culture, beautiful archaeological sites, beautiful nature, many wildlife reserves, many places for the beach and the wonderful city.”

She continued: “And it is easily accessible. It has many airports with many flights coming and going from everywhere. We had some clients from London who came during the pandemic who already had properties, and they made the lockdown there because they said: ‘If I have to spend the winter closed, at least when I go out to my garden, I have sun. ‘”

From Rome, the flight to Sicily is less than an hour in just 40 minutes, while the flight from London arrives in just under 3 hours. Until a year ago, the Italian branch of Sotheby’s did not even have an office in Sicily, but chose to open one due to the high demand for properties.

Due to confidentiality agreements with high-profile clients, Spinola was unable to name some of the Hollywood stars who recently settled in Sicily. Mick Jagger, who had previously chosen Sicily as his vacation destination, reportedly bought a home in the area earlier this year.

Renowned designer Jacques Garcia invested his heart and soul in developing his first home, the Chateau du Champ de Bataille in Normandy, France, but it was Noto’s charming charm that prompted him to invest in a second property in the city. Sicilian.

“Champ de Bataille occupies my time, my energy, my thoughts, my dreams, my anxieties and my happiness,” Garcia said via email to Newzpanda. “So finding a new home seemed totally inappropriate for my personality. So I fell under the spell of three things [in Noto]: on the one hand, the preservation of the site – the fact of discovering a still virgin place since it had been abandoned again after the 1693 earthquake – as neighbors, the historic baroque city listed as UNESCO heritage, and the sea. “

As for his thoughts on Sicily’s new fashionable status as a top destination for Hollywood gamers, Garcia said “this is great news.”

“I don’t think it’s a trend that will fade,” Garcia continued. “The magnificent climate throughout the year, the magnificent sea, the art and the most pleasant people, the Sicilians. What more could you want?

As of now, Italy Sotheby’s Ludovica Infantino confirmed that Italy has returned to a largely pre-pandemic state.

“This summer, it didn’t affect us at all,” Infantino said. “We currently have no restrictions due to vaccinations, so people can come here and travel.”

“Tourism is back,” Spinola added, regarding the post-pandemic climate in Sicily. “This summer, it was as busy as before, so I would say nothing has really changed. We have a very good national public health system. [in Italy]So even if you are a foreigner, if something happens to you, our hospitals will welcome you ”.

During times of COVID restrictions, Sicily employs a zone method, marking certain areas where there are limitations, such as nightclubs and bars.

Infantino also noted that famous frequent vacationers in Sicily include the likes of Richard Gere, Keira Knightley, and Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

According to Sotheby’s office in Italy, there are currently no restrictions for US buyers looking to buy real estate in Sicily. As for the property’s price ranges, Spinola cited a range of between € 400,000 and € 4 million, which is equivalent to about $ 462,176 to $ 4,621,800 in US dollars.

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