B&B Terrazza dei Sogni - Ragusa Ibla

City of Modica

City of Modica

Modica, twisted and sensual, it has been declared patrimony of UNESCO for the numerous artworks that adorn the city. Although the catastrophic earthquake of 1693, many are the rests, when Modica was the most important feud of Sicily.

The origin of the name have been lost during the years and today different are the theories: probably from assigned by the Greeks or the Phoenicians. Modica has been always distinguished for his number of population, for being an active city thankfully to his religious corporations that during the centuries have established schools and cultural centers. In fact, before the earthquake of the 18th century, Modica counted something like hundred churches.

Like Ragusa, Modica is divided in two parts: Upper Modica which constructions are like climbing mountain and Lower Modica, divided by Corso Umberto, the main street of the city. The aspect of Modica is principally late-baroque, almost all rebuilt after the 1693.
Chiesa di San Giorgio: is considered the most acknowledged monument of Modica. The origins are not sure, some researches say that the structure has been built in the middle age and destroyed several times by the Arabs first and earthquakes after. Last works finished in 1738 by the architect Rosario Gagliardi that projected also the Duomo San Giorgio of Ragusa Ibla. The monumental prospect is divided by few big columns and gives the effect to reach the sky with his tall tower bell and his long staircase of 250 steps, built in 1818,  divided in four stair-flights creating the shape of a wine glass.
The inside is composed of five naves and count twenty-two columns with Corinthian capitals. The structure is rich of artistic decorations, plasters and precious paintings. “The meridian” drawn on the floor and “the treasure” which include “the Saint Ark” covered with silver and contain the Saint’s relics, need to be remarked.

Duomo San Pietro: the Duomo of San Pietro rise in the heart of lower Modica, beside the Count Castle, climbed on the rocks and dominated by the clock tower. The church is introduced by an elegant staircase, decorated with twelve statues of the Apostles (called by local people “Santoni”). San Pietro is composed by an elaborated prospect and presents characters of the 17th century, like the main gates and the decorations of the columns but also characters of the second half of the 18th century, like the big windows in a rococo style. Inside, divided by three naves, is supported by fourteen columns with adorned Corinthian capitals. The floor of the 1864 is a mix of white marble and black pece stone ragusana. The vault is rich of frescos, represent scenes of the old and new testament.

Chiesa Santa Maria del Gesù: the most beautiful characteristic of this 14th century church is the cloister, which was owned by the Franciscan friars. The cloister is unique in south Italy, only in Catalonia there are similar structures. In fact, has been built for will of the Spanish Counts Ximenes and Cabrera. In order to create a big variety, each column is decorated in different style.

Palazzo Polara: located just beside San Giorgio’s church, is easy to identified the similarities between the two constructions, since they are made in baroque style. Palazzo Polara is often place of extraordinary exhibitions. A daily art gallery is also open to public with works of the 17th and 18th century.

Palazzo Napolino: this construction is one of the most beautiful baroque building of Modica, erected in the second half of the 18th century. In the principal prospect there is a majestic gate with typical columns on the sides adorned with elegant curtains sculpted on the stone. Above the gate, there is magnificent balcony with elegant rounded balustrade showing his baroque masks.

Castello dei Conti di Modica: located on a cliff with the shape of a eagle’s beck, this building originally was a very old prison, strictly connected with political history of Modica. Today, is still possible to visit the jail, the outside watch tower and also a narrow tunnel recently discovered. Part of the castle is the clock tower built in 1725 activated every 24 hours. His mechanisms are still intact and perfectly work. Is not a case that this is one of the most photographed and appreciated monument of Modica.

Curiosity, chocolate of Modica: some sources say that during the Spanish domination in Sicily in the 16th century, this special tradition was introduced in the Count of Modica, which was at that time the most important feud of south Italy, provided of independent administration. The Spanish, who in turn, introduced this recipe from the Aztecs. Today, there are still some trails of this “hand-made chocolate” in Spain, Mexico and Guatemala. Historically, it was handed down as a typical dessert of the noble families that used to prepare it at home only for important occasions. Passed down until nowadays, becoming an international famous product.