Ragusa is standing on a 380 meter high slope of the Ibleo tableland, its name derives from the Byzantine ‘Rogus’, which means granary. The surrounding area is dominated by picturesque deep gorge, drystone walls, carob and almond trees.
The most interesting and unique historical event of the area was the introduction of perpetual leases in the XV century, which created new middle classes and some of the representatives even managed to buy noble titles from impoverished barons. The new nobles were in evident competition with the old aristocracy and their ‘friendly’ competition was expressed in the construction of various palaces, churches and convents. Thus In XVI century Ragusa counted the disproportionate number of churches, and the society encouraged by the clergy was divided into two rivalry parishes: parish of Saint John and the parish of Saint George.
The triumphant competition often went beyond the peaceful discussions: luxury processions, intrigues, feasts and whatever. But one day a tragic event interrupted that ‘big ball’. The earthquake of 1693 modified the orographic composition splitting the society not only into two competing groups but bringing them to the definite divorce: two independent towns were founded, Modern Ragusa and Old Ragusa Ibla. They are connected by ancient stairways which bring us through a fantastic performance of Old ‘Dolce’ Italy with decorated potable, windows adorned with flowers, baroque corners, jutting balconies, sumptuous decorations, where life still goes on slowly in its proper dimension.
In Ragusa even Baroque architecture is duplex with the simply naïf Saint John’s Cathedral and the intriguingly asymmetric Saint George’ Duomo. A lovely promenade in the heart of Ragusa is to conclude with divine Sicilian ice-cream in the Ibla Garden enjoying the harmony and beauty.