Images of Ragusa Ibla
Conde Nast Traveller Readers' Awards 2009
Sicily is your favourite holiday destination overall. You gave the island high marks across the board, from 92.36 for climate to 97 for food and 95.36 for people/hospitality, ensuring its place at number one in The World's Top 100.
Ragusa Mayor Mr.Nello DiPasquale
One of the most fascinating towns in Sicily, Ragusa has caused many a visitor’s jaw to drop as they first set eyes on the lower part of the town. Essentially Baroque, the Ragusa you will see today dates almost entirely from 1693. Indeed, it was in this year that Ragusa, along with its neighbours, Modica, Scicli, Noto, was razed to the ground by a terrible earthquake that hit most of the eastern side of Sicily.
Public opinion on where to rebuild the town was divided, and so a compromise was made. The wealthier, more aristocratic citizens built a new town in a different site, now Ragusa “Superiore”, while the other half of the population decided to rebuild on the original site, on a ridge at the bottom of a gorge, now Ragusa Ibla. The two towns remained separated until 1926 when they were merged to become the chief town of the province, taking the place of Modica.
While the upper part has its fair share of architectural delights, it is the smaller Ragusa Ibla down below that really draws visitors. Whether you approach it from Modica to the south or from Ragusa Superiore, the sight of the jumble of houses, churches and civic palazzi piled on top of each other, clinging to the walls of the gorge, is really quite breathtaking. Although seemingly Mediaeval from a distance, once you enter the town’s heart, the Baroque logic of its plan becomes more obvious.
The town is part of the Val di Noto UNESCO Heritage site and 18 of its buildings are protected by UNESCO patronage. It would be excessive to list them all here, but a few gems to look at are listed below. The best thing to do is just to walk, and admire man’s resilience in the face of natural disaster.
In Ragusa Ibla:
In Ragusa Superiore:
The Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista, previously situated under the walls of the Mediaeval castle, was rebuilt twice, as the first version was deemed unsuitable. The version that you will see today was built in 1718 in an archetypal, extravagant Sicilian Baroque style.
Duomo San Giorgio San Giorgio Piazza A view of Ibla (downtown) from Ragusa (uptown) Kelly Knox in via del Mercato
in Ragusa Ibla
San Giorgio Piazza
Chiesa Maddalena San Tommaso
a rare view of snow covered Ibla Piazza Pola
IBLA Winners pianist Laura Pauna (South Africa), pianist Cara Hesse (South Africa), pianist Macieji Granat (Poland), pianist Alessio Quaresima (Italy), Winner pianist Eugene Gutchin & soprano Victoria Galtseva
soprano Adrienne Miks (Hungary) performing evening concerts in Piazza Pola in Ibla from Russia
Palazzo Donnafugata Scucces located between Teatro Donnafugata located within the Palazzo Piazza Pola Piazza Pola
Piazza Duomo and Piazza Pola
Castello di Donnafugata Dewi Soekarno