By sea or by land, this is how you can discover the South-East of Sicily. A strip of land filled with history to be discovered through museums and monuments, rich of odours and flavours to be tasted, wealthy in rural and literal itineraries to be passed through, walking or reading among alleys and paths. This corner of Sicily, so lively in its uniqueness, shares with the rest of the Island art and hospitality.
Day 1: Arrival - half a day guided tour Modica
Arrival. (free lunch in Modica.)
Modica: is a wonderful destination that charms visitors with its architecture, food, culture and sense of authenticity. Modica is divided into Modica Alta (Upper Modica) and Modica Bassa (Lower Modica): a maze of alleys and steps joins the two parts.
In 1693, the city suffered an earthquake which destroyed the whole area and then it was rebuilt in the same location according to the Baroque architecture style. Baroque is the predominant style with the interesting church of St. Peter, the splendid church of St. George and the several Palaces that can be found both in Modica Alta e Modica Bassa.
The sweetest moment of the day is the “Chocolate experience”: in fact, Modica is famous for its chocolate that origins from Mexican traditions and the it is brought to Sicily via the Spaniards.
Dinner all together.
Day 2: full day guided tour Cava Ispica -
Cava d’Ispica (Ispica’s quarry): is one of the oldest and most important craggy town of the Eastern Sicily. It is situated in a spectacular 13km-long canyon, formed by a continuous succession of necropolis and craggy settlements. The sheer faces, more than 100 meters high, have an interesting variety of vegetation. It is necessary to stop at the old Cavallo d’Ispica mill.
(Wine Tasting and lunch in a winery).
After lunch, brief walking in Marzamemi: it is a charming fishing village that grew around the now abandoned tuna fishing nets, the tonnara. Its name derives from the Arabic word Marsa al Hamem (anchorage of turtledoves). The central square shows the storey houses, two small churches dedicated to Saint Sebastian and the 18th century home of Villadorata prince, who was the owner of the village. All around it, the malfaraggi, fishermen’s houses and buildings where they worked tuna fish (salt stores, storehouses, the excise men’s quarters).
In the late afternoon, guided tour of Noto. This town is the apotheosis of the late Baroque architecture. It has a fishbone urban centre with three parallel streets. The central one, Corso Vittorio Emanuele, reserved for religious orders, starts at the Neoclassical Porta Reale (Royal Arch) and it’s full of monasteries and convents: the Church of San Francesco and its Convent, the Monastery of Santissimo Salvatore with its graceful tower; Palazzo Ducezio,(the town hall), the Jesuit Church; the Cathedral, whose famous dome collapsed down in 1996, and Palazzo Nicolaci with its grotesque masks.
Day 3: Half a day guided tour in Ragusa Ibla
RAGUSA IBLA : The name of the city comes from the ancient Hybla Heraia, a Sicel town Hellenized in the 6th century b.C. that has been identified as the modern Hibla, the oldest part, with the old part, Ragusa Superiore, separated by valleys, forms the modern city.
After the destruction of Ragusa in 1693 when an earthquake affected the whole Eastern part of Sicily, the rivalries between the aristocratic families of the old and the new lineage, striving to display their superiority in wealth and style, led to the creation of the beautiful palaces and churches that still constitute the main architectural profile of the city. Ragusa Ibla is indeed an open museum of the Baroque architecture. Among its monuments there are the late Gothic style portal door of the original Church of Saint George, the Baroque style domo of Saint George, considered the most important example of the Baroque style in Sicily; the Giardino Ibleo, typical example of the Italian garden; the Church of San Giuseppe (18th century) and its monastery.
(Free lunch in Ragusa)
Free time until the departure.