Ragusa
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RAGUSA

Close to Modica, in the Northern part of Sicily, is where you’ll find Ragusa, a City with ancient origins and a main town furthest South of Italy.
Its territory, in the hilly part of Ibla, results as inhabited since the III Century BC, as demonstrated by finds and by the Necropolises and furnaces from a successive age (8th Century BC), but however, pre-Hellenistic.
With the arrival of the Greeks and Siculi, settlements pushed further inland and saw the founding of Hybla Heraia.
It subsequently fell under Greek scrutiny and was witness to a clash between the Carthaginians and Syracusans (5th and 4th Century BC), until the arrival of the Romans (3rd Century BC).
After the end of the Roman empire, successive Goth and Vandali invasions and the period of the Ostrogoth Reign, concluding with the Greek-Gothic War of 535, Ragusa passed hands to the Byzantines, who fortified it. The same Byzantines also initiated construction of the defensive castle.
It was conquered by the Arabs in 848 and remained under their dominion until the Norman conquest of Sicily. In 1091, the City was assigned to Goffredo d’Altavilla, illegitimate son of Count Ruggero, and took on a Medieval appearance, which can still be recognised today in some areas of Ragusa.
After the Swabians and the Angioina period, Ragusa passed under rule of the Chiaramonte Family in 1296, under which it was unified to the County of Modica.
In the 15th Century, under the management of the Cabrera, Ragusa enjoyed a period of economic and social development.
Ragusa lost its Castle and a great part of its architectonic patrimony with the earthquake of 1693. The City moved down from the hills to allow expansion in the modern day area of Corso Italia. An expansion which then moved to such an extent towards higher areas during the 14th and 20th Centuries, that for some years the City was divided into two different communes (1865).
When visiting the City, the following are recommended: the Ibleo Regional Archaeological Museum which hosts an important collection of ancient finds for different eras: Pre-Historic, Sicula, Greek and Roman.
Nearby, it’s possible to visit the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist (18th Century) and S. Maria delle Scale, which connects the two cities like the great bridges connecting Ragusa Superiore (Upper Town) to the Inferiore (Lower Town).
One can therefore then visit the Duomo of S. Giorgio (1738) with its Neo-Classical dome.

RAGUSA
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Sicily region, Island of Italy

 

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