One of the most fascinating towns in Sicily, Ragusa has caused many a visitor’s jaw to drop as they first set eyes on the lower part of the town. Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693. Indeed, it was in this year that Ragusa, along with its neighbours, Noto, Modica, Scicli and Catania, was razed to the ground by a terrible earthquake that hit most of the eastern side of Sicily.
Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693.
Public opinion on where to rebuild the town was divided, and so a compromise was made. The wealthier, more aristocratic citizens built a new town in a different site, now Ragusa “Superiore”, while the other half of the population decided to rebuild on the original site, on a ridge at the bottom of a gorge, now Ragusa Ibla. The two towns remained separated until 1926 when they were merged to become the chief town of the province, taking the place of Modica.
Half day tour of Ragusa (lasts approximately 3h)
From St. John’s cathedral, in Rausa Superiore, you will descend towards the edge of the hill that overlooks Ragusa Ibla, passing the elegant Palazzi Bertini, Cosentini and La Rocca, with their elaborate balcony corbels. The walk continues downhill, with numerous flights of steps, towards the centre of Ibla. You will see more ornamented balconies and windows, as well as the sumptuously decorated churches of Idria, Purgatorio and St. Joseph, and the beautiful three-tiered façade of the Cathedral of S. Giorgio, to mention but a few of the magnificent buildings included in the itinerary. The walk ends in the public garden, il giardino Ibleo, with its palm avenue, small churches, and the splendid 15th century portal of the St. George cathedral.
Upon request, this baroque tour can include a typical Sicilian aperitif with a Sicilian wine, various types of cold meats and cheeses.
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