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Ragusa is the capital of its province and today is an active city with over 72.000 inhabitants. Since 2002 it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage with 18 buildings in Ragusa on the list.
Ragusa is devided into the newer Ragusa Superior and the older Ragusa Ibla. Ibla is a spectacular mix of nar row streets, steep winding steps, old churches, and fantastic views.
In 1693 Ragusa was hit by a terrible earthquake that destroyed most of the town. When the ragusan had to decide where to rebuild their town they split into two groups. The San Giorgians (the nobels) that stayed in Ibla rebuilt the old town and the magnificent Duomo di San Giorgio, and the working class that moved onto the new site of Ragusa and built the Cathedral of San Giovanni and the new city. The old church of San Giorgio (XIV) was badly damaged and most of its stones were used to build the new Duomo (XVIII), only the Portal of the ancient church was spared by the earthquake and recostruction.
How to get there
Frequent buses run to Taormina, Messina, Enna, Caltanissetta and Siracusa. Less frequent buses run to local destinations, Naples, Rome, etc. The main bus station is opposite the railway station and a 10 minute walk from the city center.
Frequent trains run up the east coast to and from Taormina (but the station is a long walk below the town) and Messina, then to Naples and Rome, etc. Trains also run to Enna, Palermo (slower than the buses) and Syracuse. A scenic route runs inland to Caltagirone and Gela. The railway station is a 10 minute walk from the city center.
Sights & Activities
Built on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys, Cava San Leonardo and Cava Santa Domenica, the city has two distinct areas: the lower and older town of Ragusa Ibla, and the higher Ragusa Superiore. The two halves are separated by the Valle dei Ponti, a deep ravine crossed by four bridges. One of them, the 18th century Ponte dei Cappuccinni is particularly beautiful. In 1693 the city was devastated by a huge earthquake, following this catastrophe the city was rebuilt, with many magnificent baroque buildings dating from this period.
Ragusa Ibla hosts an impressive array of baroque architecture, including several stunning palaces and churches. The Cathedral of San Giorgio, built starting in 1738 by architect Rosario Gagliardi and framed in the front by a flight of 250 steps and massive ornate columns, is topped by a large Neoclassical dome.
On a narrow winding street that connects Ragusa Ibla with Ragusa Superiore is the church of Santa Maria delle Scale (Saint Mary of the Steps). This church is particularly interesting: badly damaged in the earthquate of 1693, half of this church was rebuilt in Baroque style, while the surviving half was kept in the original Gothic style.
Another fine building is the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Ragusa Superiore. Built between 1718 and 1778, its principal façade is pure baroque, containing fine carvings and sculptures. The cathedral has a high campanile in the same style. The ornate baroque interior is separated into three colonnaded aisles, where the columns are embellished with gold.
The Zacco Palace is one of the more beautiful baroque buildings of the city. Its Corinthian columns support balconies of amazing wrought iron work, while grotesques buttresses shock or amuse the passer-bys.
Ragusa is a small and quiet town, and one of the towns with the highest quality of life in Southern Italy. The economy of the surrounding province hinges mainly on agriculture (horticulture, olives), farming, tourism, light manufacturing and small oilfields.
At this restaurant in the historic Baroque quarter of Ragusa, Sultano demonstrates a talent for resurrecting Sicilian recipes and ingredients that have once vanished, and reintroducing them into his modern repertoire.
Address: Via Capitano Bocchieri, 31
97100 Ragusa – Località Ragusa Ibla
Tel.: (095) 65 12 65
Fax.: (095) 65 12 65
Baglio La Pergola
Find flavorful local dishes at Baglio La Pergola: crostatina di carrubo with Ragusano cheese mousse (carrub pie with cheese), pistachio pesto maccheroncini with shrimp and orange zest, and rabbit sautéed with Moscato from Pantelleria, pine nuts and fennel.
Address: Contrada Selvaggio, Ragusa – 97100
Tel.: (0932) 68 64 30
La Gazza Ladra, Modica
Located in the Palazzo Failla building in Modica, La Gazza Ladra is an elegant and stylish restaurant. In the kitchen is Accursio Craparo, one of the most acclaimed young Sicilian chefs.
Address: Via Blandini, 5 – 97015
Tel.: (0932) 75 56 55
Spring and fall are the best seasons to visit Ragusa. July and August are the warmest months with temperature up to 104° F.For more information, visit the Weather page.
Marina di Ragusa
Note: This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article “Metasyntactic variable” and Creative Commons by Commons Deed. This information was accurate when it was posted, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the businesses/establishments in question before planning your trip.