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Modica and Scicli

Modica and Scicli

Two wonderful Baroque cities about 20 kilometers from Ragusa, ideal for a trip outside the city in search of art and history.
  • Modica
    This picturesque town lies 20 km from Ragusa, in the southern part of the Iblei Mountains. It is divided into a high and low part, both completely rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693. The town has many palaces and churches in late Baroque style, that stand between the typical lanes and the buildings.
    The Church of San Giorgio, dedicated to the city’s patron saint, is a monumental example of Baroque architecture including a staircase of 250 steps, that was built after the church in 1818.A walk along Corso Umberto is well worth it. This road is Modica’s viewing lounge, right up to Piazza Principe di Napoli, where you can find the Municipal Buildings (Palazzo Municipale) and the castle walls that have survived time and nature’s hazards.
    After visiting the city, you can spend time discovering one of the most pleasant characteristics of Modica: the cooking.
    There are many typical dishes in the city, but the most famous product is without a doubt Modica chocolate. this special chocolate is still made following ancient craft traditions, which guarantee the special granularity of the product, due to the sugar crystals that remain undissolved in the chocolate. A tradition that started during the period of Spanish rule, that imported cocoa seeds from the New World. The Modica chocolate bars are traditionally 15 centimeters long and can either be natural or flavored with cinnamon, chili pepper or vanilla.
    The chocolate is used in many recipes served in the Ragusa and Modica restaurants, such as, for example, the "’mpanatigghi", small pies filled with meat and chocolate.
  • Scicli
    A Baroque jewel 24 km from Ragusa and 5 km from the sea, Scicli lies in a charming basin surrounded by rocky hills and is often therefore called "the town with three hills".
    There are many churches and Baroque palaces built between 1700 and 1800 that deserve to be seen: the Church of Santa Teresa, the Church of San Giovanni, the Church of San Bartolomeo and Palazzo Beneventano, included on Unesco’s World Heritage List.
    Another extremely interesting place is Chiarafura, with its caves dug out in the tufa rock and used as houses until 1958. One of Scicli's most charming aspects are the religious festivals and events: The nativity scenes set up in the caves, the Easter celebrations and the "horse parade" in honor of San Giuseppe in March, that travels from Scicli to the town quarter of Donnalucata. In May there is also the great historical event of the "Battle of the Militia" a battle during which the Normans beat the Saracens (1091).

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