THE LATE BAROQUE CITIES OF THE VAL DI NOTO (UNESCO RECOGNITION 2002)
Tourism in the province of Ragusa has taken on a different dimension and importance than in other Sicilian provinces for many years now. The peculiarities of the territory, characterized by the great beauty of the cities and their monuments and its beautiful nature and scenery – especially along its stupendous coastline – create a mix of attractions that brook few comparisons. These characteristics, coupled with great food and wine production, can definitely be defined at levels of absolute excellence, and make the territory an area rich in tourism potential that deserves to be exploited to the fullest.
UNESCO’s recognition of the treasures in the Val di Noto has untimely helped motivate the entire sector, greatly increasing what is on offer to tourists injust a few years.
The province of Ragusa is the youngest of the Sicilian provinces, but also stili ancient enough for there to be many traces of civilizations that have lived there over the millennia. On January 11, 1693, an earthquake devastated part of the province’s territory. Massive reconstruction followed and that led to the extensive and splendid Baroque architecture that characterizes the Val di Noto, which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2002.
The lblea area has turned up various archaeological findings, including the oldest yet recorded human findings discovered in Sicily namely scrapers and lithic blades dating back to 30,000 years ago that were found in a cave. The vast majority of the findings are housed in the Iblea Archaeological Museum.
It’s worth to pay a visit to the wonderful island of Ortigia, that represents the most ancient part of Siracusa. There you’ll find a lot of old baroque monuments and historical buildings, it’s a real jewel of the world heritage.
1 You can’t visit the province of Ragusa without admiring the baroque beauties of Val di Noto, part of the UNESCO world heritage in 2002. You’ll find yourself astonished by the sites Ragusa, Modica, Scicli and Noto.
2 The worldwide famous series “Inspector Montalbano” was filmed in the area of Ragusa. Visiting Punta Secca, district of Santa Croce Camerina, you can see the home of the inspector and thanks to a visit to the town hall of Scicli you can feel the atmosphere of Vigata’s police station.
3 The more athletic guests can go for bike rides or jeep drives in the country of Iblei Mounts, or on the Etna volcano. Another option is the vist of a few natural reserves, like the Pino D’Aleppo one, the Forest Park Calaforno or the Integral Natural Reserve Cava Randello.
4 You can’t miss a visit to Siracusa, one of the most beautiful Mediterranian cities. If you are short on time you can visit the historical center and the Ortigia island (whose name derives from the ancient greek word meaning quail) in only one day. There are a lot of significant historical monuments, such as the Dome of Siracusa, the Apollo’s Temple, the spring of Aretusa and the calcareous cave named “Dionisio’s Ear”.
Donnafugata’s Castle, Church of S. Giorgio, Church of S. Giovanni Battista, Church of S. Giuseppe, Church of S. Maria delle Scale, Cosentini Palace, La Rocca Palace, Palace of Cancelleria, Portale di San Giorgio, Bizantine’s Walls, Ponte vecchio, Torre Cabrera di Marina of Ragusa, Site of fascist architecture (Piazza Libertà, Piazza Poste, Ponte Nuovo)
HOW TO GET HERE
By plane: Catania Airport (45 min from Siracusa and Comiso)
CAMERA DI COMMERCIO DELLA SICILIA ORIENTALE