B&B Terrazza dei Sogni - Ragusa Ibla

Modica city

Modica city


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.
 

WHAT TO SEE

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.

WHERE TO EAT


Typical restaurants - Trattorie
  • Osteria dei sapori perduti - 0932 944247   339 7030708 - www.osteriadeisaporiperduti.it - Corso Umberto I° 228
  • A putia ro vinu 0932 944157 - www.aputiarovinu.it - Via Carlo Pisacane 34
  • Singola vegetarian restaurant natural - 0932 904807 - www.singolaristorantenaturale.com - Via Risorgimento 88
  • Locanda del colonnello - 0932 752423 - www.locandadelcolonnello.it - Via Blandini 9
  • Trattoria sale e pepe - 0932 903512 - www.trattoriasaleepepe.com - Via Ovidio 9
Michelin star restaurant
  • Accursio ristorante - 0932 941689 - www.accursioristorante.it - Via Clemente Grimaldi 41
Wine Bar - Pastry
  • Rappa enoteca 328 5446285 - Corso Santa Teresa 97/99
  • Rewine enoteca 0932 1611857 - Contrada Michelina SNC
  • Pasticceria antica dolceria Bonajuto - 0932 941225 - www.bonajuto.it - Corso Umberto I 155

EVENTS


Fest of San Giorgio
This great religious and devotional event much felt by the population of Modica, generally takes place last week of April. The celebrations are characterized by the procession of the statue of San Giorgio with the simulacrum running as if at a gallop throught the streets of the city before re-entering in the church.
Color, music and typical songs are certainly not missing. An event that must be lived!

Madonna Vasa Vasa
On Easter Sunday in this unmissable appointment the Virgin Mary and the Risen Christ "si vasanu" (they kiss) at noon in front of the church of Santa Maria of Betlem at the end of the great Easter procession surrounded by the crowd of the faithful.

Fest of San Pietro
Saint Patron of the city as well as San Giorgio, is celebrated on the 29th of June. During his anniversary the streets of the old centre are crowded of local people driven by the desire to buy something in the many stands set up for the occasion.
Unmissable is the procession that takes place accompanied by thousands of torches.

Chocobarocco
As the name suggests, this event is linked to the typical Chocolate of Modica. Here you can find any flavour and shape of chocolate and it is a very good chance to buy some souvenir to bring back home.
During the festival some chocolate sculptors partecipate showing their best  works in the stands of the histoci centre. The event usually takes place in October and cannot be missed by chocolate lovers.