Discovering Ragusa and the UNESCO sites in the southern cost of Sicily – Road.Travel

Discovering Ragusa and the UNESCO sites in the southern cost of Sicily

Road Trip Route. WHL UNESCO site, Late Baroque Sicilian towns, Sea village and Inspector Montalbano's locations, Traditional and uncommon food and starred cuisine experiences.

Welcome in Sicily, I'm Chiara Giannone, I'll be your guide around the Ragusa area, in the Southern part of my island. You will discover the wonderful UNESCO cities of Ragusa, Modica and Scicli, which were rebuilt in an incredible beautiful Baroque style after the terrible 1693 earthquake. But, you'll enjoy also some of the most beautiful sea villages and beaches in this area....and, obviously, I'll give you the right advices where eating great Sicilia food!!! So, welcome and start this road trip! *Credits: This tour was made by Chiara Giannone, as a multimedia tourist and storytelling project for the "Laboratory of formal technical writing (storytelling and gamification)", under the coordination of Prof. Elisa Bonacini, within the ITS 2-years COURSE "Higher Technician for the management of tourist accommodation facilities and cultural activities", 2019-2021, founded by the ITS Archimede Foundation at the CUMO Eastern Mediterranean University Consortium, in Noto (Syracuse).*

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Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Ragusa e Modica

On this 1 day I will take you to discover the Unesco sites of the cities of Ragusa and Modica.

Aeroporto di Comiso "Pio La Torre" (CIY)

Our journey begins ... welcome to the Comiso airport!


The first stop on the journey that I suggest is [Ragusa](,_Sicily)... here I will take you to discover the new city, totally built after the [1693 earthquake]( and the old one, named [Ragusa Ibla](,_Sicily#Ragusa_Ibla), with is late medieval well-preserved aspect, mixed visto the Baroque style. If you want, here is a wonderful audiotour from izi.TRAVEL!

Locanda Don Serafino

If you decide to spend a stay in the baroque city of Ragusa, you should not miss the stop at the [Locanda di Don Serafino]( Located in a 19th century baroque style building, excellent food, 5 star hotel restaurant, on of the best restaurant not only in Sicily but in the whole Italy, where the starry chef Vincenzo Candiano will offer you a "food experience" or a "wine and cheese tasting". It's expensive, so be prepared, but this is one of the incredible food experience you could have here!

Duomo San Giorgio

After eating, the very first stop will be in Ragusa Ibla, where we must not miss the stop at the [Cathedral of San Giorgio](,_Ragusa). Example of Sicilian Baroque, this church gives the visitor the opportunity to see the grandiose dome and the grand staircase. Inside the Cathedral of San Giorgio we can see a Latin cross shape, divided in three naves, thanks to ten massive and imposing stone pillars, and semi-circular apses.

Piazza Duomo

After visiting the Duomo, you cannot miss a long walk in Piazza Duomo, the main square of the city.

Giardino Ibleo

Walking around the streets, we also notice one of the 4 oldest and main gardens of Ragusa.The villa of Ragusa Ibla was built in 1858 on the initiative of some local nobles. Most of the people worked for free for its construction. From a magnificent avenue flanked by numerous palm trees, the garden it is very well maintained and adorned with well-carved benches, columns with stone vases carved in different shapes and an elegant balcony with a limestone fence. A monument dedicated to the fallen of the First World War is imposing in the center of the villa. Inside there are the church of San Vincenzo Ferreri, the church of San Giacomo and the church of the Capuchins. Near the garden, there are also the archaeological excavations of Ragusa Ibla.

Cattedrale San Giovanni Battista

Another well known structure is the [Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista](, in the new and upper part of Ragusa. The Church was originally located in the western part under the walls of the medieval castle, before the earthquake of 1693; the it was rebuilt in the center of upper Ragusa. The entrance portal is embellished by columns and the statue of the Immaculate Conception. On the sides instead we find the statue of St. John the Baptist. The two side portals are very beautiful, in the second order two large sundials dating back to 1751 stand out, of which the one on the left measures the time in Italic hours, from sunset to sunset, while the one on the right measures the time in Italic hours, from sunset to right measures time in French hours, that is, from midnight to midnight. The interior is a Latin cross, with a dome supported by eight pillars. There are 14 columns in all, dividing the three naves, and the floor is made of pitch stone. The central nave has golden rococo-style stuccos attributed to the Gianforma brothers.


The next Baroque city I suggest you to discover is [Modica](! Here you can walk through its streets, go up and down through its stairs and full your eyes with its incredible beauties... If you want a guided audiotour, here is a suggested one from izi.TRAVEL!

Duomo di San Pietro

The Cathedral of San Pietro is part, like the Cathedral of San Giorgio, of theWorld Heritage Sites UNESCO list. After the [earthquake in 1693]( the church was restored and today it has a very refined facade divided into two orders, and embellished with four statues, depicting San Cataldo, Santa Rosalia, San Pietro and the Madonna, which enrich the second order. Everything is surmounted, at the apex of the facade, by the sculpture, in high relief, of a triumphant Jesus Christ. A monumental staircase, embellished by the statues of the 12 apostles on the sides, makes the entrance even more majestic.The interior instead, has 3 naves with 14 columns that support Corinthian capitals, a beautiful floor (made whit white marble, polychrome marble and black pitch), and the sumptuous vault, rich in frescoes, depicting scenes from the Old and New Testament. The right aisle houses two statuary groups: the copy of the "Madonna di Trapani ", and the polychrome" St. Peter and the paralytic ".

Hemingway Caffè Letterario

After a long day, full of things, it's time to enjoy an aperitif in a bar located in the city center.

museo del cioccolato, modica

If we are in Modica, obviously we cannot miss the stop at the chocolate museum and also to taste the [Modica chocolate]( Chocolate is the symbol of this land, it finds its greatest celebration in a museum that collects its history and flavors. Inaugurated in 2014 in a wing of the prestigious Palace of Culture, it offers visitors an engaging itinerary that reveals curiosity about this delicacy. A very surprising thing is the miniature of Italy made of chocolate, a large bas-relief of about nine meters, placed in the largest hall, entirely made of chocolate, where each regional capital is highlighted by representative sculptures.

Piazza Matteotti

Leaving the Chocolate Museum, we are in front of the main square of the city, surrounded by shops and pubs.

Osteria dei Sapori Perduti

And now it's time for a great dinner! I greatly recommend to eat in this fantastic Modica trattoria. Almost lost flavors return to the table, as they once were. Osteria dei Sapori perduti - which means Osteria of Lost Flavors - offers the original taste of true Modican and Sicilian cuisine. The atmosphere, together with the hospitality and the ancient recipes, are all the typical ingredients of the Sicilian tradition carried on with pride by the Muriana family. One of the recommended plates are the modicani ravioli!

Ragusa Ibla

After eating modicani ravioli and meat with sauce, I suggest you return to Ragusa Ibla, to take a long "digestive" walk and enjoy the Ragusan nightlife, before returning in your hotel!

Day 2: Modica, Pozzallo

In the 2 day itinerary I will let you discover the city of Modica, the beauties of the city, the famous chocolate. After we will stop in the beautiful Pozzallo, a very popular destination for its beautiful and clean beaches.

Duomo di San Giorgio

Again, today we will return to Modica to have more time to spent in walking around and discovering its beauties. We are now in front of one of the most majestic monuments. Place on top of a picturesque staircase of 260 steps, the Cathedral of San Giorgio, as well as being the symbol of the city of Modica, is also considered as one of the most symbolic monument of Sicilia Baroque! This monumental church is located in the area, which connects the lower part with the upper part of the town, and is a feast for the eyes, both inside and out. The imposing facade is one that will leave you breathless. Impossible not to notice it, impossible not to love it. The staircase, made up of several shelves, is somewhat reminiscent of Trinità dei Monti in Rome. And if the outside has left you breathless, you will certainly not be disappointed from the inside. There are many significant artworks inside! Behind the main altar there is a polyptych consisting of 9 panels arranged in 3 rows of 3 panels: in the first order from below are represented San Giorgio and San Martino, the two Saints Knights and Warriors (they have a particularly lively devotion throughout the County of Modica); in the second order the Joyful Mysteries and in the third the Glorious Mysteries are represented. Elegant and extremely rich is the large frame in carved and gilded wood. The polyptych, initially attributed to Girolamo Alibrandi, also known as the Raphael of Sicily, was later attributed to Bernardino Niger.

Museo Civico di Modica "Franco Libero Belgiorno"

This is the most important museum of the city, collecting many archeological findings and other pieces of art. Let's discover together this beautiful museum ant its collections with the [izi.TRAVEL audioguide](!

Antica Dolceria Bonaiuto

We cannot miss the stop at the Bonaiuto confectionery! Here we can taste the delicacy of Modica chocolate, or even a nice ricotta cannolo!


From Modica take your car to move to [Pozzallo](, which entirely overlooks the sea! Here we will discover a very beautiful village for having a relaxing afternoon ..

Spiaggia Pietre Nere

I recommend you to spend a couple of hours on the beach with your family, in full relaxation and music from the shores. The Pietrenere beach offers a beautiful clear and crystalline sea, and a soft and golden sand.

Mattioli Cafe

After taking a seat on the beach, I recommend going for a granita with brioche, so as to keep yourself light for a nice swim! Absolutely the recommended stop is at Bar Mattioli!

Torre Cabrera

Here we are in front of the most important monument of the city and its symbol: the [Torre Cabrera](! The Cabrera Tower overlooks the sea and especially in summer is open to many tourists, who can visit it and at the same time know all its stories! It had in fact a great military importance: it was a defense tower, built during the 1400s for the preventive sighting of the pirates who at that time infested the Mediterranean Sea. However, the tower was not only a strategic military point: some of the rooms were used by the nobles: we recognize it from the cross vaults where the sculpted coats of arms representing the noble Catalan Cabrera family stand out. In fact, Count Giovanni Bernardo Cabrera was the lord of the city, who obtained the consent of King Alfonso V of Aragon to build the defense tower. Inside the tower you can also admire some historical artifacts, including arches.

Piazza Della Rimembranza

Piazza della Rimembranza is the fulcrum of the city of Pozzallo: it looks like a rectangular space with beautiful historic residences, that belonged to the most illustrious families of the city bourgeoisie. The large rectangular square is crossed by the main street which divides it into two sectors, which are also rectangular. To the north you can distinguish Palazzo Giunta with its lovely terrace, then there is Palazzo Musso, which is a fine example of [Art Nouveau style](, particularly loved in Sicily between the late 1800s and early 1900s, which was also the first seat of the Municipality. Finally, you must admire the beautiful War Memorial of the city which depicts a naked and muscular helmsman, and recalls the blood tribute of the soldiers and sailors of Pozzallo. To the south is Palazzo Pandolfi, which has a large terrace overlooking the sea on the back. The square is embellished by 46 palm trees, which seem to embrace it, surrounding it, and which symbolize the heroes who died in the First World War.


At the corner of the square there is a very small restaurant-pizzeria, where you can stop and enjoy some fish or a delicious pizza. Ah, do you think this is a strange name? In Sicilian language it means "God bless you"!

Lungomare Pietrenere

The Lungomare Pietre Nere represents the tourist center for daytime and evening walks! Obviously here many tourists are normally attracted, so both day and night you can meet a lot of people around, who enjoy the beautiful sea breeze! Especially in the evening, the promenade becomes the favorite destination for both tourists and locals, due to the presence of events organized at the amphitheater, where street artists often perform. The Lungomare is also the perfect place for family walks: it has play areas for children, ice cream parlors and bars to have an ice cream or to have an aperitif with friends at sunset!


After having your dinner and walking on the Lungomare, enjoy this place with a lot of music accompanied by a good cocktail all overlooking a railing facing the sea.

Day 3: Marina di Modica, Marina di Ragusa, Punta Secca

In the 3 day we will go around to discover other beautiful beaches and sea villages: Marina di Modica, Marina di Ragusa and Punta Secca, which are very popular destinations in summer by many tourists. If you want to enjoy a good sunset with the people you love most, these are the right places to spend the day.

Marina di Modica

We will start this day moving to Marina di Modica, a hamlet of Modica, where you can take a relaxing walk and enjoy the sea.

Bar Fiore

If you are in Marina di Modica, I'm sure you need to enjoy granita and brioche with a sea view.

Marina di Ragusa

And now drive to [Marina di Ragusa](! This delicious sea village is one of the most popular seaside places in south-eastern Sicily, much visited every year by Italian and foreign tourists, and much appreciated for its golden beaches and crystal clear sea.

Panificio San Giuseppe di Savasta Stefano

Before continuing, stop at this bakery and enjoy the Ragusa scacce or Tomassini full of ricotta and spinaches or meat, accompanied with an ice-cold craft beer!

Piazza Duca Degli Abruzzi

After the scacce, cross this beautiful square to take a long walk with your family and enjoy the breeze and the scent that comes from the sea.

Spiaggia Marina di Ragusa

Enjoy the wonderful beach and the Ragusa sun.

Bubalus Bottega gastronomica

I recommend you to have your lunch at the Bubalus gastronomic shop, enjoying a delicious gourmet sandwich, made with local buffalo cheese and meat! Here you can also have the greatest ice cream of the whole region, made with buffalo milk, such as the flavored Modica chocolate or pistachio or ricotta ice cream!

Punta Secca

You can't miss this very-known place!!! From Marina di Ragusa, after your lunch, drive to [Punta Secca](, a small fishing village, a hamlet of Santa Croce Camerina, which is the global-known location of the [Inspector Montalbano]( television series! The beach is characterized by sand and rock formations and here there is one of the most beautiful sunset in Sicily!

Casa del Commissario Montalbano

If you are in Punta Secca obviously you cannot miss the stop to see the "house" of Inspector Montalbano, overlooking the sea, which is normally used as b&b. Inside in fact we will find the living room furnished with the original furniture of the fiction!

Bacio di Zefiro

Enjoy a good Sicilian cannoli in this bar and ... go near to the Faro!

Faro di Punta Secca

If you want to enjoy a good sunset in total relaxation, this is the right place!

Ristorante da Enzo a mare

After walking around, enjoy a delicious fish in this fantastic restaurant. Very well known because it is the restaurant where Inspector Montalbano often eats. Enjoy the taste of the sea accompanied with a good local wine!

Day 4: Scicli

4th and last day of the itinerary, I will let you discover the baroque of the beautiful Scicli.


Today our third UNESCO Baroque city to visit is [Scicli](! You will be fascinated from its beauty! If you do not know, the Municipality palace in Via Mormino Penna is on of the set of Inspector Montalbano! Here is an izi.TRAVEL guided tour for you!

Via Mormino Penna - Scicli

Walking through Scicli we find ourselves in this beautiful Baroque street, surrounded by shops, restaurants and bars.

Chiesa di San Matteo

We are at the church of San Matteo, now a deconsecrated church, which has been closed for some time. The church is divided into three naves of five bays, with a transept and three rectangular apses. The bell tower is included in the architectural structure of the transept on the right. The unfinished façade features typical Sicilian Baroque styles. Also on the hill where this church is located, we notice a wonderful breathtaking view of the city.

Chiesa di San Bartolomeo

Walking through the city we also find another well-known church: the [church of San Bartolomeo](,_Scicli), one of the most important monuments of Scicli, dating back to the early fifteenth century, largely resisted the catastrophic [earthquake of 1693]( The frescoes depict the life of St. Bartholomew, moments of prayer, blessing and the arrest of martyrdom.

Piazza Busacca

Piazza Busacca is the center of the Sciclitana nightlife, at every corner we find clubs and music of all kinds, but it really beautiful also during the day!

Pura Follia

Finally, you cannot leave without having enjoyed a wonderful and tasty gourmet pizza in the Pura Follia pizzeria, here you can find wonderful pizzas with all kinds of dough, in short, you will be spoiled for choice!

Castello di Donnafugata

On our road to the airport, the [Donnafugata Castle]( is a not missing stop! If you visit Donnafugata you will breathe a unique atmosphere, the scent of the earth, the shape of the carob trees, the carriages. We are talking about a castle or rather a farm that has become a castle! It was the reference point of the family who lived there and it has also a park, an immense historical garden that still manages to enchant. Inside the Castel a new Museum of Dressing has been inaugurated in 2020. After your visit here, hoping you've enjoyed your trip around the UNESCO cities in Southern Sicily, it's time for return home!