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Sicilian Baroque

From Noto to Ragusa Ibla: a journey back in time to 18th century Sicily.

Sicilian Baroque

A journey discovering the intimate soul of Sicily, an island where heartfelt sentiments and firmly held beliefs find their ultimate expression within the most theatrical of baroque edifices. This whirlwind tour of 18th century Sicily, takes us from Noto to Ragusa, visiting any number of elaborately decorated churches and palazzi, the ornately carved facades of which, at sunset, blush a delicate shade of pink.

Our adventure begins in Noto, the capital of Sicilian Baroque, and in the city's principal square, Piazza Municipio: an authentic treasure chest brimming with baroque jewels. The piazza is dominated by the Cathedral: an immense edifice preceded by a magnificent flight of steps. Other important works of architecture facing onto the piazza, are the Palazzo Ducezio, Palazzo Landolina, Palazzo Vescovile and the Church of San Domenico, this latter built by Rosario Gagliardi, the Siracusa-born architect responsible for many of the baroque masterpieces in the area. San Francesco all'Immacolata, the Santissimo Salvatore Monastery and the Convent of Santa Chiara are the names of the exquisite baroque churches which we meet as we walk along Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the main street of the city.

Although most famous for its chocolate, like the nearby town of Pachino (known throughout the world for its delicious cherry tomatoes), Modica also has its fair share of Baroque buildings. In Modica, between a chunk of spicy chocolate and a shot of powerful chocolate liquor, we take time to visit the 18th century cathedral of San Giorgio, a superb example of 'Sicilian baroque, and the town's other cathedral, the equally impressive Church of San Pietro.

We make our next stop at Ragusa, a city divided into two centers; that of the Ragusa Superiore and the older Ragusa Ibla. Whilst the new town is not lacking in impressive baroque buildings, it is the old town of Ibla, nestling deep in the valley, which has by far the greatest tourist appeal. As we walk down the winding path leading from Ragusa Superiore to Ibla, we spy enticing glimpses of the baroque nativity scene which awaits below. Any number of churches and palazzi catch our eye as we enter the town, but it is the Cathedral of San Giorgio located in Piazza Duomo which draws the attention of the crowds. The Cathedral, designed by Rosario Gagliardi, is preceded by a flight of some 250 steps and sports a series of incredibly ornate columns.

Our journey concludes in Gela, where we depart from our itinerary's Baroque theme so as to admire two of Sicily's best known treasures: the sea and the traces of ancient Greek civilization. A popular bathing resort, Gela has incredibly long sandy beaches and a sparkling clean blue sea. Testifying to the area's past Greek dominion, Gela's Acropolis contains the remains of two gilded temples, part of the ancient city perimeter walls, and various dwellings. Although legend has it that the Delphic oracle, advised the Greeks from Rhodes and Crete to found the city of Gela in 689 -688 B.C., numerous findings dating to before this time would indicate that Gela was already inhabited in prehistoric times. In the historic center of Gela, it is the neo classical style which has made the most lasting impression on the townscape, as can be seen in the Mother Church and Church of Sant'Agostino.

Itineraries

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Hotel nelle vicinanze

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Anime a Sud

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A partire da € 210.00

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Iblaresort

Ragusa

A partire da € 85.00

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Caol Ishka Hotel

Siracusa

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Grand Hotel Minareto

Siracusa

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Masseria della Volpe

Noto

A partire da € 215.00

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Riserva del Noce

Caltagirone

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Mandranova

Palma di Montechiaro

A partire da € 170.00

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La Dépendance

Noto

A partire da € 150.00

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Hotel La Corte del Sole

Lido di Noto

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Palazzo Cavalieri

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A partire da € 175.00

Altri link utili
Sicily (tutti gli hotel)
Ragusa Hotels
Gela Hotels
Noto Hotels