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Ragusa Tourist info, Sicily
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  Ragusa tourist information, Sicily - Italy B&B | Search |
Ragusa tourist information, Italy
Home > Sicily > Ragusa
RagusaRagusa is the province’s capital city, interesting for both its artistical and historical heritage. Set on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys it is divided into two distinct areas: Ragusa Ibla (the lower side) and Ragusa (the upper side), separated by the so-called valle dei ponti (valley of the bridges), a deep valley that is crossed by four successive bridges, among which that known as dei cappuccini (of the Capuchins), dating from the 18th century, is especially renowned. Its diverse architectonic features are evidence for an intense seismic activity in past times. After the 1693’s earthquake the residents settled on the site known as Ibla, that, today, with its medieval layout and lovely baroque architecture, is a most attractive historical centre and a major goal of tourists
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Donnafugata Castle
The poetic ring of Donnafugata, which in Italian means kidnapped woman, probably has logical origins in the Arabic ayn as jafat which means fountain of health. Indeed there exists a spring in the surrounds of the castle. The castle is in fact a noble villa built in its present form by the Baron Corrado Arezzo De Spucches in the early 1900s. It lies in the heart of an area of outstanding natural beauty, famous for the little farms and carob orchards that dot the landscape. It is half way down the road that leads from Castiglione to Camarina, known locally as la strada dei cinque zucchi.

The 2500 square meters and 122 rooms of the castle are built in an impeccable Venetian Gothic style. It's façade is decorated with eight balconies which open onto the grand terrace under the loggia. Among its most important rooms we should remember the Heraldry Room whose walls are decorated with the coats of arms of all the most important Sicilian families and the Hall of Mirrors, ornately finished with noble curtains and it goes without saying, tasteful mirrors. The billiard room, the Bishop's apartments, the Gallery, the music room, the drawing room, the library and the guest rooms are all works of art in themselves and when seen together make a visit to the castle an unforgettable plunge into the noble past.

The use of pitch stained local stone for the floors of the rooms of the castle is another interesting feature. The castle is surrounded by eight hectares of landscaped garden and parkland as desired by the Baron who was an expert in botany. The Baron instructed the gardens of the castle to be filled with aromatic plants and herbs whose scents still gloriously pervade the garden air. The Baron also had a number of buildings erected for the comfort and enjoyment of his numerous guests such as the coffee house and the church. The garden's most striking feature however has to be its labyrinth, a truly spectacular maze, guaranteed to make you get lost in its countless dead ends and turns. Other ornamental features wanted by the Baron are the grotto reproducing a karst limestone landscape and the decorative vases in highly prized Caltagirone ceramics that dot the garden.
Marina di Ragusa
Only a few kilometres to the south of the city we find Marina di Ragusa. It is an attractive seaside resort which was originally known as Mazzarelli, which comes from the Arabic word which means little town. It served as a little port for the export of the cheese, carobs and cereals that were produced in the countryside around Ragusa and had a watchtower to defend itself against the piracy of the 16th century. It remained, for the most part, however a sleepy fishing village up until the 1870s when the first asphalt mines were opened in the area and it suddenly became the departure point for tons of Ragusa's very own black gold which were to tar the streets of the world's most important cities from Beijing to Buenos Aires, not to mention the important European capitals of Paris, London, Berlin and Amsterdam. Then in the 1960s it was rediscovered as an ideal holiday resort with its long golden strands and crystal clear waters. Thus the ancient Mazzarelli became the thoroughly modern Marina di Ragusa without losing any of its old world charm and character. Today it has become a leading seaside town in the region, famous for its top-class facilities and above all for the beauty of its beaches
The other Sicily: that's how Ragusa has often been described by artists and literary figures, politicians and even economists because it represented, and indeed still represents, a successful model of civil and social cohesion. It is in this way quite different, some would say above, the usual cliché that are often associated with Sicily in the national and international media. Maybe this is the main reason behind the growing public interest and increasing importance of tourism for the Iblean province and in particular its capital, which has been declared a world heritage site by UNESCO and, because of its beauty, been used by a number of leading film directors as a film set. Ragusa is a town where ancient rural traditions such as the building of the typical dry stone walls which divide the little farms dotted over the unspoilt landscape of valleys and carob trees, still thrive. It is also a land of great architecture; that of ancient Greece as exemplified in the interesting museum of Kamarina, and that of the 17th century as can be seen at the Castle of Donnafugata. However it is the Baroque style which most typifies the area in its ornate churches and noble palaces which line the streets and alleys of Ragusa Ibla. Ragusa is not just a land of ancient tradition and architecture but also a prosperous agricultural and industrial centre as well as a town known for its culinary delights and fine wines, folklore and cultural, sporting and artistic vibrancy. It is a haven of solidarity and peacefulness.
Catello di Donnafugata
Ragusa Ibla
Marina di Ragusa
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