Once, one of my friends said to me: “ If this city was not, it should be invented”. He talked about Ragusa, one wonderful city in the Eastern area of Sicily and the namesake province consisting of 12 towns. Ragusa is, indeed, a town which arises simultaneously on a promontory and in front of the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In reality, Ragusa is formed by two cities: Ragusa Inferiore, also called the old Ragusa (see the image) and Ragusa Superiore, also called the new Ragusa. The first rises on a high, tortuous hill called Ibla and the second overlooks on the sea with sandy beaches and glimmering and blue waters. Ragusa Superiore is just crouched at the foot of the above mentioned hill, that, in turn, surmounts the lowland which hosts Ragusa.
Furthermore, the two zones of Ragusa are linked among them by bridges, so much that Ragusa is also called the city of bridges.
Ragusa is also the chief town of the Province of Ragusa and includes other charming baroque villages, such as Modica and Scicli. Like other Sicilian cities, this town is rich in history, churches, arts and monuments, with an important difference: it seems secluded, very secluded, with a shy atmosphere capable to tell more than it shows.
Ragusa looks like a land out of Sicily, a world kept apart, distant from the entire island and, perhaps, this is the real merit of this city. Although the history of Ragusa is very ancient and similar to other Sicilian cities, this city was completely razed to the ground during the awful seism which in 1693 destroyed Noto Valley (Val Di Noto) entirely.
The new city of Ragusa was, hence, rebuilt, following a prevailing baroque style and for this reason it is very hard to find out prehistoric or Roman ruins.
Interesting ancient Roman ruins are in the so called Grottos of Trabacche (see the image), five kms away from the city. This place is tucked amid the countryside of Ragusa. The grottos houses ancient catacombs dating back the late age of the Roman Empire and dug in the limestone of the Iblei Mounts. This picturesque site was used to shoot the episode of Inspector Montalbano, titled “The Terracotta Dog”.
The most important baroque monuments are, instead, on the promontory of Ragusa Inferiore. To discover more about them, see my post about the historical downtown of Ragusa, namely Ragusa Ibla.
Ragusa Superiore, namely the new city of Ragusa, is a modern agglomerate of modern streets, buildings, factories and shopping centers.
From this area, you can visit its beautiful beaches: Marina di Ragusa, Cava D’Aliga and Punta Secca, namely the other places used to shoot the Inspector Montalbano movie.
Another place used for the movie is Donnafugata Castle. I talked about this castle in my post about Inspector Montalbano.
As you can see, even though Ragusa seems a small place to visit, in reality is greater than you think.
That is why I decided to talk about this particular destination through several different posts.
If you read them, you’ll have a comprehensive overview to visit the beautiful city of Ragusa.
Thank you so much for your kind understanding.