A few days ago, we have started our trip around the province of Ragusa. Now, it’s time to go on and explore new places together with Sicilian Secrets.
Chocolate calling! We have already talked about Ragusa [click here and read Ragusa and the province: have you ever visited…part I], the second stop of our road trip is in Modica, a town that is well-known for its culinary specialties such as the typical chocolate produced according to an ancient and original Aztec recipe.
Food and tradition, what a great match!
This village has Neolithic origins, nowadays its architecture has been recognized as providing outstanding testimony to Baroque art in Europe. Together with other towns in the so-called Val di Noto, it is part of UNESCO Heritage Sites in Italy. Modica means history, art, culture, do you know that it was the birthplace of Salvatore Quasimodo, one of the most famous Italian writers who got the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1959?
And do you know that it consists of two parts? Walk down from Modica Alta (upper town) to Modica Bassa (lower town) and enjoy the panorama. If you are brave and fit, try the reverse journey on foot but be ready to face many many steps…my legs cannot forget them!
Don’t miss some of the most beautiful architecture of the island, such as the grandiose Baroque Cathedral dedicated to St. George, the church dedicated to St. Peter, featuring a façade crowned by a typical Sicilian Baroque bell tower. And if you are looking for a museum, take note: your destination is Mercedari Palace that includes both a museum and a library.
Have you ever dreamt to be on TV? Well, probably you will never become an actor but have the opportunity to walk on the beach where it takes place one of the most famous Italian TV Series. Even if you live abroad, probably you know Inspector Montalabano, loosely based on the books written by Andrea Camilleri. Punta Secca, aka ‘A Sicca, is the fictional Marinella and it’s here that many scenes of Montalbano are set.
Punta Secca is a small fishing village (about 225 inhabitants!) and one of its main sights is a lighthouse (Capo Scaramia), built in the XIX century and 35 meters high. Believe me, you will be surrounded by an exceptional beauty. And, if you want to do something special, in summer don’t miss the opportunity to swim in the same crystalline sea where Inspector Montalbano is used to dive in the morning.
Ispica and Scicli
The last two quick stops of our journey around the province of Ragusa are Ispica and Scicli.
The first one, like other villages, hosts many examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture. But for sure, the most characteristic part of the area is Cava d’Ispica. It’s a series of housing units carved in the rocks that date back to the Bronze Age and were used until the end of the XIX century.
Ispica is well-known even because it was the set of a famous Italian movie: we are talking about Divorce Italian Style, directed by Pietro Germi in 1961. It won the Academy Award for Best Writing, Story and Screenplay – Written Directly for the Screen, Marcello Mastroianni (the protagonist) was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role and Germi for Best Director.
Scicli has been listed as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites together with other villages of Val di Noto. It was founded by the Sicels around 300 BCE, unfortunately, in 1693 a catastrophic earthquake destroyed the town that was rebuilt in the Sicilian baroque style. Nowadays it attracts many tourists: do you love art? You cannot miss this place!
Did you like our stories? Probably now, you cannot wait to leave and visit Sicily. Don’t be sad if this journey is over, bear in minds these words by José Saramago: «The journey is never over. Only travellers come to an end. But even then they can prolong their voyage in their memories, in recollections, in stories. When the traveler sat in the sand and declared: “There’s nothing more to see” he knew it wasn’t true. The end of one journey is simply the start of another».