This large island has attracted visitors for thousands of years and actually has a “close friendship” with more than just visitors. Sicily, located on the tip of Italy, has long been inhabited by settlers of several civilizations. There were the Greeks whose presence gave rise to Aphrodite, because the landscape was rich and beautiful and was to be a gift to the goddess of love. Following the Greeks were the Spanish, Romans, Arabs and Normans. There are many signs of the invasion of these people in the cathedrals, monuments, palaces and temples. That’s what makes Sicily so special, giving you a holiday that you cannot do without. Here is a small list of possible places to visit, if you are on vacation in the south of Sicily.
Marina di Ragusa
Located just south of Sicily, Marina di Ragusa is a city known for its nightlife and great beaches. It is also known for the remains of Greek settlements that reach the river Irminio. The new port of Marina di Ragusa has the potential to be one of the largest marinas on the island with the capacity to moor over 800 boats.
This charming town is on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list for its splendid Baroque architecture. After the earthquake of 1693 that destroyed the city, it was divided into two parts. Subsequently half of the town was rebuilt at the top and then defined as Ragusa, while the second part has been renovated as the old section and now also known as Ragusa. From the top you can see great scenic views, while Ibla is great in its own way, with its narrow streets and alleys. In the center of Ibla you can also visit the beautiful Cathedral of Saint George, located in the main square; if you love to shop you can also find many shops, cafes and ice cream parlors above. In Ibla there are other churches that are on the UNESCO list such as Santa Maria del Gesù, Santa Maria of the Idria, St. Francis and St.Philip Blacks, to name a few. The upper part of the city hosts the Ibleo, an archaeological museum with the archeology and ancient history of the territory of Ragusa, from the Neolithic times until the late antiquity. In addition, the top has a great street called Via Roma, where you can walk and do some shopping.
This beautiful city, a World Heritage Site, is known for its baroque buildings from the beginning of the nineteenth century. It has magnificent palaces, churches and is a dynamic fusion of the antique and modern that you’ll love. During the day the center is alive and has several interesting bars where you can enjoy delicious meals.
Modica is a city of 50,000 inhabitants and a hundred churches and well known in many ways. It is located in the Val di Noto and is on the list of UNESCO’s protected sites, thanks to its beautiful historic center full of Baroque buildings. First of all you should visit the two most famous churches which are those of Saint Peter and Saint George; they are beautifully decorated in local stone. For some of the best world-renowned chocolate, Modica is the place to be; its first chocolate shop was opened in 1880 by Francesco Bonajuto, selling delicacies of Arab and Spanish origin leaving behind centuries of tradition.
In addition to art and culture, there are some beautiful beaches in the south of Sicily.
Be captivated by this large village of about 20,000 inhabitants and enjoy the long stretch of the best golden beaches here in Pozzallo. In addition to several festivals held throughout the summer Pozzallo has many restaurants that specialize in seafood and several nightclubs catering for different age groups. Perhaps you may prefer to take a long relaxing stroll while you enjoy your favorite ice cream or you can visit the shops that are open in the evening.
Punta Braccetto, inhabited in prehistoric times, was used as a landing place by the Byzantines and Normans to secure their ships. In 1595 the Vigliena tower was also built to protect the coast of Sicily against pirates. Punta Braccetto also offers you a lovely beach, known for one of the most famous Italian television series called “Il Commissario Montalbano” as well as having received the blue flag as one of the most beautiful beaches in Italy.
This small fishing village is like a picture perfect postcard with small stone houses, narrow lanes and two large beaches with fine golden sand and crystal clear waters. The area along the beach has been recently renovated and the city is known for a lively nightlife in the summer. The tomato festival opens the summer season on May 1 of each year and is a golden opportunity to discover the delights of the area.
Siracusa – Ortigia
The old part of the city of Syracuse is called Ortigia, located on an island connected to the mainland by two bridges. This area is full of narrow streets and Baroque palaces, which are on the UNESCO list. In the heart of the city is Cathedral Square, a place always full of people. The church on the square dates back to the 1700’s, while one of the walls has a history dating back to the Greek temple of 400 BC. If you are in Ortigia and you are interested in archeology then you must visit the Temple of Apollo, the Archaeological Park, the Greek and Roman Theater, as well as the cave of Dionysus where 7,500 Athenians were trapped in 413 BC, being defeated in the famous battle of Syracuse.