APRIL 2024

Ragusa was the most picturesque location of our Sicilian road trip. Ragusa consists of two parts which are both located on a different hill, which means that you can take incredible pictures from one hill to the other. Ragusa is a less popular destination than the more famous beach towns of Sicily, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit. I hope I can convince you with my pictures.

Where we stayed

We stayed in La Casa di Matilde, which is a lovely B&B just outside of the old town of Ragusa (=Ibla). La Casa di Matilde has a tremendous view of Ragusa Ibla, which you can enjoy from some rooms and on the breakfast terrace. It is a small, family owned B&B, with super charming rooms. Luca was our host and he prepped us breakfast and helped us carry our bags from the recommended parking spot. We paid only € 70 per night per room, including the fabulous breakfast. The only downside is that the bed hadn’t been updated for quite some time. I regularly have back issues and really suffered from this, but my mother and sister were fine with the bed. If you have back issues: do not book, otherwise: absolutely recommend! And: there is quite some stairs to get to the hotel.

Things to do in Ragusa

We stayed in Ragusa for three nights, which honestly is a bit much. Ideally I would recommend to stay two nights, to have a full day of exploring Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla. You can also do day trips from Ragusa, we originally planned to visit Noto for the day, but ended up having to skip as my back issues played up.

Ragusa viewpoint: My absolute favorite activity in Ragusa was the viewpoint. We hiked up to the Church of St Mary of the Stairs and from there made our way back down to the old town, taking in breathtaking views along the way.

Ragusa Ibla: Ragusa Ibla is the old town and of course it is super charming, we are in Italy after all! Of all the locations we visited in Sicily, Ragusa definitely is the least maintained, but I think that added much of the charm. It certainly is less decorated than Taormina and Cefalù and more relies on its old world charm. I found the Duomo di San Giorgio a real showstopper. If you climb the steps you get a great view over the main piazza. If you walk all the way to the end of the old town, you will enter the Giardino Ibleo, the public park, which is worth a visit. Ragusa Ibla is not super touristy, but you can find some great shops offering Sicilian presents for a good price. I found some table cloths with traditional Italian prints, which I found such a good souvenir.

Trenino Barocco Ragusa Ibla: I usually don’t take the little tourist trains, but I had severe back issues while in Ragusa and I did want to see the town so we took the train. It turned out to be a great way to learn more about Ragusa and the train took you to some good viewpoints. (It doesn’t go to THE viewpoint). If you are visiting with kids, I recommend taking this little train. I think it cost about € 5 and took 30 minutes, which was perfect.

Food: We didn’t have the best weather in Ragusa, every evening it started raining so we couldn’t do Al Fresco dining. We therefore ended up at a restaurant near our B&B: Trattoria Agli Archi. Luckily the restaurant served great dinner and wine, offering lots of local specialties for an affordable price. Pasta, meat & tiramisu were all great! Ragusa doesn’t have the amount of restaurants that the more popular destinations have, but you can definitely find some gems. We had pizza at Magazzini di Palazzo Donnafugata, which has a cute terrace and was really good. If you are looking for an original meal, which will mainly be cheese: Salumeria Barocco is your top choice! Restaurants close between lunch and dinner, so if you are an early diner you won’t have much luck in Ragusa. Better to go out later in the evening and have more choice of restaurants.

Flowers near Largo San Paolo: We parked our car near Largo San Paolo and on the way there I discovered some streets featuring lots of flowers, with absolutely no tourists. It was such a charming area and if you are willing to venture off the main streets you will be rewarded tremendously.

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