Ragusa in Sicily - the UNESCO Heritage
29/07/2013

When someone speaks about Sicily the first things that come into the mind are the charismatic city of Taormina, the active volcano Etna in Catania, Syracuse city and the chaotic yet amazing city of Palermo.

ragusa-sicily
That is where tourists go most of the time. Pity! They are missing the outstanding city and the beautiful surroundings of Ragusa! Rest assured that those tourists that decide to visit Ragusa remaine simply fascinated!

Where is Ragusa Sicily? What’s so special about Ragusa? Let’s see why!

Ragusa Sicily – Today

Built on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys, Cava San Leonardo and Cava Santa Domenica, the Ragusa has two distinct areas: Ragusa Ibla being the older and lower town, and the higher Ragusa Superiore. The two 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.

Further to the above, Ragusa is about 90 kilometers from Catania. Marina di Ragusa is a well developed area with nice sandy beaches and a newly built youth marina. The coast is only 20 kilometers away from Ragusa. Modica which is another UNESCO Baroque town, is about 8 kilometers to the south. Hopefully this year Comiso airport will open for commercial flights and this is only few kilometres from the town.

Further to the above, Ragusa is about 90 kilometers from Catania. Marina di Ragusa is a well developed area with nice sandy beaches and a newly built youth marina. The coast is only 20 kilometers away from Ragusa. Modica which is another UNESCO Baroque town, is about 8 kilometers to the south. Hopefully this year Comiso airport will open for commercial flights and this is only few kilometres from the town.

Most importantly, 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

Ragusa Sicily - History

In 1693 a terrible earthquake hit most of the eastern side of Sicily and destroyed most of the town of Ragusa. Neighbors towns of Noto, Modica, Scicli and Catania where also badly hit.

Rebuilding Ragusa wasn’t an easy task especially when its citizens had different opinions where to rebuild the town. As a matter of fact, the wealthy more aristocratic citizens built their own new town in a different area, now called Ragusa Superiore.

The remaining citizens rebuilt the old town now called Ragusa Ibla. Ibla is a spectacular mix of narrow streets, steep winding steps, old churches and fantastic views and surroundings. The two towns remained separated until 1926 when they were merged to become the main town of the province.

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.

Even though Ragusa Superiore has its own share of architecture masterpieces, it is the older town of Ragusa Ibla that is really spectacular that leaves every visitor speechless. From far away it looks a city of the mediaeval, but once approached closer or better visit the town centre, you can appreciate the Baroque architecture, together with its houses jumbled on each other, churches, palaces and the magnificent square of Duomo di San Giorgio.

Since 2002, Ragusa is part of the UNESCO World Heritage with 18 buildings in Ragusa on the list as follows.

In Ragusa Superiore you can find

  • San Giovanni Cathedral dating from 1706, in a large piazza off Corso Italia. There are three
  • Palazzo Vescovile - Baroque building.
  • Palazzo Zacco - Baroque building.
  • Palazzo Bertini - Baroque building.
  • Church of Santa Maria delle Scale, dating originally from 1080.


In Ragusa Ibla you can find

  • Baroque Duomo di San Giorgio sits in the center of Ibla, just spectacular
  • Santa Maria dell'Idria – church
  • San Filippo Neri – church
  • Santa Maria dei Miracoli – church
  • San Giuseppe – church
  • Santa Maria del Gesu – church
  • San Francesco – church
  • Chiesa Anime del Purgatorio – church
  • Ibla are Palazzo della Cancelleria - Baroque buildings
  • Palazzo Cosentini - Baroque buildings
  • Palazzo Sortino Trono - Baroque buildings
  • Palazzo La Rocca - Baroque buildings
  • Palazzo Battaglia - Baroque buildings


Ragusa Sicily – Il Sogno

Although our properties are in Giarratana which is another old quite town, Ragusa is only 20 minutes drive away. For sure if you intend to visit the two cities and visit most of its cultural sites, you will need at least 2 full days.

Just make sure to keep driving to Ragusa and DO NOT stop admiring the country side, otherwise you will not make it to the cities since you will enchanted away with the beauty of the surroundings. Just trust me!

Author: Ruth - Villa Rental Sicily