The tour of Ragusa Barocca Ibleo
Ragusa is renowned for being one of the cities in which the Baroque style is still very much present. The tour starts with a visit to the Cathedral of St. John, a sumptuous eighteenth-century building. You can then continue on to Palazzo Bertini, notable for its grotesque gargoyles.
Continue along to Ragusa Ibla: this is already an adventure, as the hairpin turns and steps take you down past churches and palaces that will definitely make you look twice. The real gem is located in Piazza Duomo; the Cathedral of San Giogio with its flanking array of baroque buildings designed by the architect Rosario Gagliardi. It is regarded as one of the most beautiful churches in Italy, and with good reason. Palazzo La Rocca, with its beautiful balconies, and the Palace Donnafugata are two other stops you should definitely make.
As if Ragusa wasn't enough, the town of Scicli will really take your breath away. Its reconstruction after the earthquake of 1693, gave the city an elegant and monumental facelift, resulting in a concentration of buildings ranging in style from the late Baroque period. The palaces and churches of the Via Mormino Penna are some of the best examples of this style, and shouldn't be missed. Among these are the Palace of Benevento and the facades of the churches of St. John the Evangelist, St. Michael and St. Therese.
Next, onto Modica, and a masterpiece; the Church of St. George. Set in a scenic location and with an imposing staircase of 250 steps it really is picture perfect. We also love the splendid baroque balconies of noble buildings such as the Palace and Palazzo Polara Napoletano.
Keep going and you can visit the Church of St. Peter, Vizzini (inspiration to Verga) and Noto, 'the garden of stone'. The main axis of Noto's Corso Vittorio Emanuele is Piazza Municipio: a veritable treasure trove of baroque, which culminates with the spectacular staircase which leads to the Duomo.
If this has whet your appetite for an architectural feast, let us know - we'd be happy to help you with the tour.