— Part I —
Photos, Culture, Stories, Food & Tips
Noto is a city in the Syracuse province of Sicily, located at the Southeast end of the island. A historically popular vacation destination for Europeans, Noto has only recently become a mecca for American foodies because of its leading role in Chef’s Table, a popular Netflix series, touting Noto as a land of plenty and the best gelato in the world.
A few moments in Noto, and you’ll quickly begin to realize the particular uniqueness of the island. In the Palermo Parts Unknown episode, Bourdain asks a local restauranteur why Sicily may be more inspiring than the rest of Italy. The restauranteur responds, “Nearly all influential Italian poets came from Sicily, this has got to mean something.” Indeed he has a point.
Sicilians are quick to substantiate that they are not biased to unapologetically exclaim the one-in-a-million nature of their island. “Not one, not two, but twelve different groups have tried to take over our beautiful island,” locals drop in conversation. “Sicily is famous for its abundance. Many nations have tried to take over Sicily, partly because of our spectacular conditions for agriculture,” remarks Fabio Santuccio, agribusiness thought-leader and creator of Eloro District.
The attempted ran-sacking comes as no surprise to Sicilians. “Sicily has a magnetic pull, caused by its phenomenon of elements,” Santuccio explains. Each element is represented with impeccable balance: earth, water, air, fire, and ether (æther or quintessence). The active Mt. Etna volcano, three surrounding seas, diverse terrains, and the I’m-so-happy-I-can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it vibes. The balance of elements makes for a buzzing atmosphere—perfect for life. This culminates to produce quite literally the best agriculture in the world. And this is by no means controversial. Many agricultural institutes and health organizations around the world agree that the magic of Sicilian land is indisputable.