Ragusa, The other Sicily
Its most distinctive feature is that the city, rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693, now appears to be divided into two main "quarters", two souls united by a suggestive and long staircase. On the one hand Ragusa Ibla, the oldest and most fascinating part of the city, its flagship, featuring a medieval and baroque structure, and on the other Ragusa Superiore, the new city. Ragusa Ibla administratively broke away from the rest of the city in 1865, becoming an independent municipality, for then join permanently to the town of Ragusa in 1927. Situated on a small hill, the neighborhood boasts over fifty churches and numerous palaces in the Baroque style and it is home to some important events and ancient traditions like Ibla Bukers, the festival of street artists, the international Music competition Ibla Grand Prize, and the feast of the patron St. George.
THE 10 THINGS TO DO IN RAGUSA
1. ENJOY THE AMAZING PANORAMA OF RAGUSA FROM THE CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLE SCALE, located just on the edge of Alta Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla.
2. VISIT THE CATHEDRAL OF SAN GIORGIO, which dominates the square of the same name, the heart of baroque Ibla, framed by Baroque palaces and the Circolo di Conversazione, nineteenth-century neo-classical mansion.
3. WALK IN THE IBLEO GARDEN, the oldest of the four major gardens in the city, built in 1858. It stands on a rocky outcrop overlooking the Irminio valley and it is home to three churches and the memorial “ai caduti” of the Great War.
4. BOOK A WINE TOUR OR A GUIDED TOUR AT THE PALACE AREZZO OF TRIFILETTI, stately neo-classical mansion owned by the Arezzo Trifiletti family.
5. MAKE A STOP AT THE PAST VISITING THE CASTLE DONNAFUGATA, sumptuous noble residence with the large face in the Gothic Revival style crowned by two lateral towers. The castle has over 120 rooms, a monumental 8-hectare park and a trapezoidal maze.
6. ENJOY SEDUCTIVE AND BAROQUE DISHES OF ISLAND TRADITION at the restaurant Il Duomo (via Cap. Bocchieri 31), emblem of excellence signed Ciccio Sultan. Two Michelin stars, a stubborn strength, a spirit tied to the place and a passion for cooking at zero kilometer.
7. EAT FABULOUS ARANCINI at the arancineria Arà (via Tindari, 13), small and colorful local in fast food style that serves a variety of tastes. Good price and excellent quality.
8. A GOURMET BRAKE AMONG THE TRADITION SWEETS of the Pasticceria Di Pasquale (corso Vittorio Veneto, 104), landmark since 1950. Fresh yeast, brioche filled at the time, almond pastries, cannoli, cassata, but also savory pastries .
9. BREATHE SEA AIR DINING ON THE BEACH at Lido Azzurro “Da Serafino” (Lungomare A. Doria), restaurant attached to the bathing establishment that offers a linear seafood cuisine, interpreted in accordance with the raw materials, to savor lulled by the waves.
10. STAY AT THE SUNNY SICILIAN COUNTRYSIDE by booking a room at the Masseria Boscorotondo (Contrada bosco rotondo – Scicli), an ancient rural mansion in ibleo style built in 1800 in an excellent position, between the sea (at a distance of 3 km) and the eighteenth-century town of Scicli.