Noto Castle, locally known as Castello di Noto or Castello Reale, lies on the archeological site of Noto Antica north of the town of Noto, in the Syracuse province on the island of Sicily in Italy.
When the Greeks started to colonize the coast of Sicily, the local Siculi tribes retreated to more inland locations like these; a rocky spur, now called Mount Alveria, protected by deep ravines on both sides. The settlement was later taken over by the Byzantines, the Romans and the Muslims. Under Muslim rule it reached great splendor and became the capital of one of the three historical provinces of Sicily; Val di Noto. The Muslims probably also founded Noto Castle.
The present Noto Castle was built in 1091 by the Norman Duke Giordano, son of Roger of Altavilla. It was built next to the northern gate of the city and was part of the city walls. In 1430 it was strengthened by Duke Peter of Aragon. In 1545, under Charles V, the castle was modernized and in 1675, during the Franco-Spanish War, it was provided with guns.
On January 11, 1693, the region was struck by a devastating earthquake. The city was totally destroyed and abandoned after epidemic diseases struck the survivors. The city was completely rebuilt 10 kilometers to the south into a masterpiece of Sicilian Baroque, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
At present the ruins of the old city are completely overgrown, the castle ruin however is freely accessible. A nice ruin with a remote feel to it.