Excursions in the most beautiful spots of Sicily

THE SEA AS YOU'VE NEVER SEEN IT BEFORE

Ragusa and the Iblea Coast

Bertini palace

In the baroque city of Ragusa, the Bertini Palace is located in "Corso Italia" street. It was built in the end of 700 and in 1800 it was bought by Don Giuseppe Antonio Bertini, from where the name comes from. On the keystones of the balconies there are three grotesque masks that symbolize three authorities: the lord, the rich and the poor. The lord is located in the center, the poor on its left and the rich on its right.

San Giovanni Battista cathedral

The San Giovanni Battista cathedral was situated, right before the earthquake of 1693, in the center of the city, under the medieval castle, where today it is possible to admire the small Saint Agnese church. After this event the church was rebuilt in the new center of Ragusa.

San Giorgio church

The San Giorgio Duomo is in the heart of Ragusa Ibla, the oldest part of the city. The building of the church began on June 28th 1739, but the real construction began in 1744. In 1745 the facade was ended. Rosario Gagliardi was the chief of the works and he decided to place the church on top of a oblique stair in front of the square, so that its prominence was glorified.

Cosentini Palace - Ragusa

The Cosentini palace in Ragusa is situated between "Corso Mazzini" street and the "Salita Commendadore". The building is from the end of 1700. It was built by the will of the baron Raffaele Cosentini, with a rectangular plant and three floors. The most fascinating characteristics are the figures under the balconies, as usual in those years and in the eastern Sicily. Usually this statues are grotesque figures that want to attract people and this makes the palace more fascinating and attracting.

Zacco Palace - Ragusa

Zacco Palace, one of the most beautiful in the northern part of Ragusa, was built by the baron Melfi. It has two facades, and each of them has three balconies on the noble floor. On each side of the main door there are two columns on tall tar plinths, with Corinthian capitals under the main balcony, with a wrought-iron mixtilinear railing. The jamb of the balconies are sustained by big corbels divided in two parts: in the down part there are grotesque masks, in the upper one fantastic figures that recall those of other previous nobiliar palaces. Thanks to this palace the Rococo enters in Ragusa and it’s used only in a few others buildings. The palace then became a museum for the traditions of Ragusa.

Santa Maria delle Scale church

The church was built during the XIV century on the ruins of Santa Maria di Roccadia abbey of Cistercian origins (the Cistercians were a monastic order) and then, after the earthquake of 1693, was rebuilt in baroque style even if it has some gothic traits (the door and the pulpit). With the extension of 700 the church was rotated of 90° and the three side walls became the right nave. The view that you can admire from here is probably one of the most beautiful in the entire Sicily. You can admire the antiquity of the city, the small alleys, the ancient center, the old fountain, the picturesque widening, the old stair and the deep wide valley.

Ibla Historical Center

Ragusa Ibla is located on a small hill and after the earthquake of 1693 was completely rebuilt in baroque style. To have a beautiful walk in Ragusa Ibla you should start from Piazza Pola. It is the main square of the area and here there are various bars, pubs council offices.

Starting from here we can discover all of the riches of the city that follow one another and that fascinate every tourist. Leaving the square behind and going through “Orfanotrofio” street there are various nobiliar palaces in both baroque and renaissance style. Just a few steps away there are the ruins of the Saint Agostino church, an ancient church whose there are still the main door in gothic style, simple and fascinating.

After the church there is the Di Quattro Palace from the ‘700. This palace was built by the will of the duke Arezzi di San Filippo and only later it became property of the Di Quattro family. On the first floor there is today a small antique dealer shop.

Proceeding on this street there is the Saint Teresa church and the relative boarding school. Then, going through “Via delle Suore”, you arrive at a small square, “Piazza Chiaramonte”, where there’s the San Francesco dell’Immacolata church.

San Giovanni Battista holiday - August 29th

The San Giovanni Battista holiday is the most important religious holiday of the northern part of Ragusa. On June 24th, the day the saint was born, it is liturgically celebrated with a holy mass and the exposition of his relics.

The saint is invoked to gain comfort from the disasters and to gain the body healing.

A reliquary is preserved in the shape of a silver arm that contains the radius of the saint, or so the tradition tells.

The solemn celebrations are on August 29th, the day of his martyrdom. The statue of the saint, made of calcareous rock and from the 1513, sculpted by Angelo Recto, is placed on the main altar. This statue was brought through a procession around Ragusa before the earthquake of 1693.

In 1861 Carmelo Licitra sculpted the current simulacrum that is carried today through the procession, followed by the marching band and the religious citizens around the streets of Ragusa. This is not just a great religious and traditional moment, it is also a singular sight because a lot of devoted, some of them barefooted, accompany the statue of the saint bringing a big church candle lighten up for the clemency that they received. Then, the profane follows the sacre. In fact, the holiday is also remembered for the fair of various products and the fireworks that ends the holiday.

The beaches of the Iblea coast

Punta Secca.

It is a small maritime hamlet, a part of Santa Croce Camerina. The locals call it “a sicca” (the shoal), probably due to the presence of some rocks in front of the Levante beach. The hamlet is famous because it was the set of “Il Commissario Montalbano”. Salvo’s home is in fact in front of this beach.

Marina di Ragusa.

This beach was rewarded with a blue flag for the sixth time, it has in fact won the first blue flag in 2009 and it’s one of the most famous seaside places in the province of Ragusa. Once it was a simple fishermen hamlet (the old Mazzarelli) but today along its boardwalks, Lungomare Andrea Doria and Lungomare Mediterraneo, there are a lot of restaurants, hotels and touristic attractions. Here there is a big touristic port that is open the entire year.

Kamarina.

The Kamarina beach is in the province of Ragusa and represents a wonderful maritime place that can be reached both by land and by sea. Here there are a lot of touristic villages and residences so it is very well known abroad.

Sampieri.

It is composed by a beautiful village made of small rocky houses and small paved streets, located on a calcareous spur in between two beaches with golden sand. The boardwalk is very famous and, during summer, it is characterized by an energetic nightlife thanks to the presence of various hotels and touristic villages. The beach is majestic, with a subtle golden sand and crystal clear water, covered by acacia trees and rushes. Legambiente and Italian Touring Club awarded it as one of the best beaches of Italy.

Pozzallo from Raganzino to S. Maria del Focallo.

Thanks to its uncontaminated water and the beautiful beaches it has got a blue flag since 12 editions. The coast of Pozzallo is extended from Raganzino to S. Maria del Focallo and it’s characterized by different beaches with golden african sand and the presence of sandy dunes in between some rocks. In the past, before the construction of various houses on the coast, the dune arrived till the hinterland for some meters. Here there is a big touristic port that is open the entire year.

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