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The province of Ragusa is located in south-eastern Sicily and is the smallest of the island's provinces, facing south to the Mediterranean. In the west stretches the fertile plain of Victoria and the rest of the province is mainly hilly, occupied by the Hyblaean plateau, characterized by numerous deep gorges.
In one of these gorges flows the Irminio, the province of Ragusa's main river. The natural reserve Macchia Foresta del Fiume Irminio preserves its habitat, a coastal area of sand dunes and typical Mediterranean maquis, frequented by many species of migratory birds, including egrets, buzzards, cormorants and black-winged stilts.
More About Ragusa Area
The renowned Cava d'Ispica is a gorge winding for about ten kilometers between Ispica and Modica. Inhabited since the Neolithic age, it is one of the most important archaeological sites in the province of Ragusa, as evidenced by the many remains of abandoned churches, sanctuaries and necropolises that are scattered around.
Along the coast stand the ruins of Kamarina, founded by Syracuse in the 6th century BC. The archaeological site preserves the remains of the 3rd century BC temples of Demeter and Athena and the house of the Altar.
During the Spanish rule the province of Ragusa experienced great splendor and political importance, when the County of Modica was part of the Kingdom of Sicily.
Like the neighboring provinces of Catania and Syracuse, the province of Ragusa was hit by the terrible 1693 earthquake that devastated a great part of south-eastern Sicily. Many cities and villages were rebuilt and enriched with baroque churches and palaces. Among them, Ragusa, Modica and Scicli are true baroque jewels, listed by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites.
Ragusan gastronomy is mainly based on typical farm products, such as the Ragusano DOP or Caciocavallo and provola cheeses. Ricotta cheese is many dishes' main ingredient, such as the typical ravioli topped with pork meat sauce, ''scacce'' (buns stuffed with cheese, sausage or vegetables), ''cassate'' and ''cannoli''. The dark and grainy Modican chocolate is the most celebrated local specialty, made according to the ancient Aztec recipe brought over by the Spaniards.