Splendors of Sicily – Ragusa

The town of Ragusa was damaged in an earthquake in 1697. Most people moved higher up the hill and founded a new Ragusa known as Ragusa Superiore, but a few of the noble families didn’t want to leave their original homes and rebuilt a lovely town in a harmonious Baroque style that has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. We spent the night last night in Ragusa Superiore, but today tour the lower (rebuilt) town called Ragusa Ibla.

Group photo with Ragusa Ibla in the background

Arriving in the town we stroll through the beautiful Hyblean Garden, overlooking the fertile valley below.

Hyblean Garden
Overlook to the valley from the Hyblean Garden.
We stop briefly in the beautiful St. Joseph church.
One of the lovely “Brides of Christ” is taking the exact same photo I just took.
While another is sending me straight to hell with a murderous look.
I elevate my gaze to the beautiful ceiling and think happy thoughts
Next we wander through the Piazza del Duomo up to St. George’s Cathedral
It is exactly 11am on a Sunday, and the organist begins playing his first hymn.
The priest files in with his altar boys, swinging incense. Notice the large painting of St. George killing the dragon in the background.
It isn’t often that you visit a church with a full-sized statue like this up front by the altar.
We climb a long stairway up the hill behind the cathedral for a shot of the dome.
A beautiful street in Ragusa Ibla
We continue our journey to Siracusa, stopping in this lovely seaside town for lunch.
Arriving in Siracusa we check in at our seaside Grand Hotel Ortigia
Several of us walk to the main square and take in this special exhibition of a work attributed to Caravaggio–the Crucifixion of St. Andrew.
Most of us prefer another painting at the exhibit by Mario Minniti — the Miracle of the Widow of Naim, where Jesus raises the widow’s son from the dead.
Dinner tonight is on the terrace of our hotel overlooking Siracusa and the Island of Ortigia.

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