The ancient city of Ragusa is the capital of Ragusa Province and located in the southeast corner of Sicily on the Mediterranean Sea. The area blends breathtaking historical artifacts and architecture, with modern industry and a sprawling coastline that looks out onto Malta.
Ragusa is divided into two parts, Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla, but it is the older city, Ragusa Ibla, that attracts travelers for its wealth of antique monuments, palaces, Baroque cathedrals and ancient history, not to mention traditional Italian charm.
While the city itself is ancient, with origins dating back to second millennium BC, the architecture of Ragusa Ibla reflects the Baroque construction that took place in the 17th century following a major earthquake that decimated the city.
While the majority of the interesting sites and monuments are located within Ragusa Ibla, a trip to Ragusa Superiore (upper Ragusa), which can be made by climbing up the steps that lead to the hilltop city or catching a local bus, offers an incredible view of the valley and the lower part of the city. Visitors will also want to check out the Catedrale di San Giovanni Battista located there.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Ragusa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with several featured sites that represent the history and character of the region.
With so many sites to see, the best plan to cover Ragusa on foot. Wander through the cities narrow streets, plazas and parks, browse local handicrafts and ceramics, then stop off at a café for traditional Italian coffee or a scoop of gelato.
Sightseeing in Ragusa
The Duomo di San Giorgio, built in 1738, is a highlight of the city and contains some of the region’s most important art. Lovers of older history will want to visit the Museo Archeologica. The Giardini Iblei, the town’s major park and botanical garden, offers a lush and picturesque spot to pass the afternoon siesta when most of the city’s attractions are closed.
Castello di Donnafugata
To step into the shoes of the Sicilian aristocracy, take a day trip out of the city and into the countryside to visit the Castello di Donnafugata. The towns of Modica, Scicli, and Noto are also nearby and worth a day of exploration.
Events in Ragusa
In addition to the religious processions that are observed citywide, such as Holy Week, Easter and St. George’s Day, Ragusa is the site of several annual events and festivals that engage the locals and charm the travelers. The summer music festival, Estate Iblea, extends from July to September with a full calendar of concerts and other events. Ibla Buskers, taking place in October, is a festival of street entertainment.
Marina de Ragusa
While there are more churches and historical sites than most can get to during their stay, you won’t want to miss the delightful Marina di Ragusa, located on the Mediterranean Coast. This seafront corner of Ragusa offers stunning beaches, up-to-the-hour fresh seafood and a lively nightlife.
The streets of Ragusa provide an overwhelming number of opportunities to experience the local cuisine. From small delis serving regional meats and cheeses, to cozy tucked away trattorias serving classic Sicilian cuisine like pasta alla Norma, caponata or fresh grilled seafood. Don’t forget to ask for a glass of Sicilian wine to accompany your meal and homemade cannoli to finish it off.
Dining in Ragusa Sicily
Trattoria La Bettola
By far our favorite restaurant in Ragusa, Trattoria La Bettola offers creative takes on modern cuisine, as well as fusion-esque experiments with traditional Sicilian, Italian and seafood dishes. The atmosphere is warm, inviting and clean and every dish is comforting and delectable.
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The idea of being able to see Malta is intriguing
Beautiful . Thank you for sharing
We have visited Ragussa, Modica and Noto and admired the Sicilian Baroque architecture. Noto was our favourite and it is the best preserved – not surprising since the cathedral dome collapsed and with UNESCO world heritage status, the town had to invest in restoration. This is a really lovely corner of Sicily.
Many thanx for sharing these wonderful photos and info with us.
I’ve heard Sicily is a really beautiful place, will hopefully tick it off my list one day!