DEP MLA 06:30
DEP POZ 21:30
ARR POZ 08:15
ARR MLA 23:15
May – September
This excursion is only held with a minimum of 8 passengers
Ibla is a quaint leisurely place, a coffee or a Campari at the Cafe at the foot of the Duomo is a nice way to start. A walk down the slightly slopping Piazza and onto the main winding street takes you to the Giardino Ibleo. On the way a short stop to admire yet another of Gagliardi’s work, the small but elegant church of San Giuseppe. The Giardino Ibleo is a haven of peace and quite with an exquisite view of the valley below and beyond. Just outside the entrance to the garden is the gothic Portale San Giorgio, it is all that remains of the original church of San Giorgio, early XIII century, which was demolished in the 1693 earthquake.
Ragusa, Modica and Scicli have three things in common, they are all UNESCO World Heritage Sites, they were devastated by the 1693 earthquake and rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style immediately after.
This out of the way little fishing village, with what appear to be an unusually tall lighthouse, is gradually becoming a beach attraction; the unspoilt sand dunes are a feature. It is completely off the tourist beaten track, were it not for the casa di Montalbano.
Modica Bassa is the historic city centre, with the main street Corso Umberto I, lined with baroque churches and monasteries, little wonder the city is referred to as La citta delle cento chiese. Expensive brand shops and fine cafes intermingle with the churches to give an affluent air to the city centre. Modica is now best known for the Cioccolato di Modica or Cioccolata Modicana. The Spanish introduced the receipt which they got from the ancient Aztecs of Mexico. Chocolate shops welcome visitors; the Antica Dolceria Bonajuto is one well known chocolate factory shop.
It is well worth wandering around this quite little town, overlooked by a massive rock on which sits the unfinished church of San Matteo. Of the many palaces built by aristocratic families the one that stands out most is the Palazzo Benventano, with its façade decorated with Saracen gargoyles. The church of Santa Maria la Nova, one of the many baroque churches in the town centre, housed Scicli’s best known icon, the Byzantine wooden statue of the Virgin Mary wielding a sword and ridding a white stallion. The Chiarafura Caves Dwellings, dug out in the cliff in prehistory, saw the last residents leave as late as 1958.