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1st itinerary


RAGUSA, DONNAFUGATA, CAMARINA, SCOGLITTI , M. DI RAGUSA

Starting out from Ragusa, you head towards Santa Croce Camerina and, after about 20 km, come to the Castle of Donnafugata.
It is a magnificent setting - and for good reason has been used often in films. The castle takes its name from the Arab name of a town that dates back to the year 1000, which sounded like "fonte della salute" ("source of health"), later transformed, through local dialect, into "Ronnafuata" and "Donnafuata". The current form of the castle, or residential villa, dates back to the late 1800s. Originally built by Corrado Arezzo, Baron of Donnafugata, it has undergone various changes over the centuries and has no single well-defined architectural style. The large terrace on the facade and the two round towers are flanked by small, late-Renaissance loggias and by the Venetian-Gothic-style "loggetta" added in the early 1900s. Of the 122 rooms in total, those which are open to the public (by prior request made to the Ragusa town council offices) are all situated on the first floor, though they are enough to create a particularly grand and lavish atmosphere. The castle is surrounded by eight hectares of park land, which also contain the so-called "coffee-house" (a neoclassical building), a labyrinth, artificial caves, and a number of curious, unusual mechanisms, or 'scherzi", hidden there to provide entertaining diversions for the Baron's guests. We next head towards the coast, to visit the ruins at Camarina. The city, settled by the Syracusans in 598 B.C., was destroyed several times in its vain attempts to gain independence, and was definitively plundered by the Romans in 258 B.C. Little remains of the ancient city, which once was spread across three hills (the largest being Cammarana) near the mouth of the Ippari river: only parts of the original town walls and a large tower. There are some interesting ruins of Hellenistic houses: the "House of the Altar", so-named because of the altar found in the middle of the courtyard; the "House of the Inscription", and the "House of the Merchant", where a number of weights and scales were found. Visitors today can also observe the ruins of the walls that ringed the Athenaion, the temple to Athena that dates back to the 5th century iiuii ~bul or Hec1UPON, su(;1 I as the ones at Passo Marinaro and Randello. The artifacts found in the area are displayed in the Archeological Museum of Ragusa and Syracuse. In Cammarana, there is an Antiquarium, which displays artifacts from the surrounding area. All of these findings have made possible the reconstruction of the city's layout, which must have been one of the most splendid examples of 4th-century B.C. urban planning. Heading north from Camarina along the coast, we can admire Scoglitti and its well-tended beaches. Continuing on as far as the mouth of the Acate river, on the provincial border, you really must see the "macconi", or high sand dunes. These "hills" are home to flourishing "retana", a type of broom with white flowers and strong scent that also grows on the Tunisian coast.
Leaving the Camarina necropoli, we next head to Santa Croce Camerina, an agricultural and horticultural centre. Your first stop should be the 13th-century Mother Church, which was renovated in the 1700s. The trinave interior contains a copy of Caravaggio's Madonna of Loreto and a statue of St. Joseph. Beside the church is the liberty-style Palazzo Pace, while the nearby village of Mezzagnone boasts ancient buildings such as "u vagnu", built of limestone between the 4th and 6th centuries, with a cross-shaped layout. Continuing on towards Pozzallo, we can stop at Caucana, situated between Punta Secca and Casuzze, to visit the interesting excavations which make up the recently-established Caucana Archeological Park.
This whole coastal area is of great archeological interest, which has been the stimulus to a fastgrowing tourist industry that now boasts good new recreational facilities.
Keeping along the coast, we now head south towards Scicli until we come to Marina di Ragusa, once an important centre for the exporting of asphalt stone and carobs, now a popular seaside resort with excellent recreational facilities. Its original name, Mazzarelli, "little port" in Arab, was changed to the current one in 1928. To visit, there is a 16th-century Tower, which the Cabrera family had built and which has been partially restored in modern style.

 


1st itinerary
Ragusa, Donnafugata, Camarina, Scoglitti, M. di Ragusa


2nd Itinerary
Ragusa, Comiso, Vittoria, Acate


3rd Itinerary
Ragusa, Chiaramonte Gulfi, Monterosso Almo, Giarratana


4th Itinerary
Ragusa, Modica, Cava d'Ispica, Ispica, Pozzallo, Scicli

 
 

Provincia Regionale di Ragusa - Settore Turismo
Viale del Fante - 97100 Ragusa - Italy
Tel: +39.0932.675353