Today we are in Ragusa, traveling only 16 kilometers but a very different place from Modica. Ragusa is much bigger (about 20,000 people more) but from where we are you would never know it. Ragusa was once two separate cities and in some ways still is. This ancient city was founded with the Sikels moved into the interior away from the sea to escape from the Greek colonists. They settled in what they called Ibla, which was as everything else in this area destroyed in 1693. The town fathers decided to rebuilt higher up on the hills but the nobility wanted to stay where they had been and refused to move. As a result, funny as it sounds the “new” Ragusa built in the Baroque town plan (very regular) and a bit a dull was created on top and down below Ibla retained its Medieval plan- that is no plan at all. Lots of tiny alley and lots of stairs going up and down the hillside. In 1926 the two towns became one and as a reward Ragusa was made the provincial capital. Since we only have one day here, we decided to skip the upper town and have explored Ibla where we are also staying overnight.
I find myself looking up all the time because the old palazzos have amazing gargoyle like creatures, beautiful balustrades and the churches seem to go straight up. Of course there are the distant views looking up as it’s quite hilly in this region and the weather is a bit closer to ours. A bit cooler than we’ve had so far. Ibla is not like Modica or Scicli that feel “lived in”. This feels like another tourist only place so while it’s very pretty we’re glad to only be here one night. We basically explored the whole thing in a few hours.
We skipped a day of touring around and relaxed at a farm/inn (Agroturismo) and were still looking up at the hills, the sunset, and the views all around.