Where To Stay In Ragusa, Sicily

Where To Stay In Ragusa, Sicily featured photo

Are you planning to visit Ragusa soon but don’t know whether to stay in the old or new town? Well, you are in the right place! Ragusa is a beautiful city in Sicily and it is understandable if you are having a hard time choosing between the two neighborhoods.

Upper Ragusa is a more modern area with more shops and businesses. Lower Ragusa is the ancient neighborhood of the city as it was the same site where old Ragusa was before the earthquake hit in 1693.

In this article, we will talk about what both neighborhoods have to offer. We will also talk about the best restaurants to eat in both areas. If you plan on renting a car, we will also talk about which city is car-friendly. So, make sure to read until the end so you can decide which area to visit, the old town or the new town!

How To Get To Ragusa

How To Get To Ragusa

There are two airports you can choose from if you plan to visit Sicily and go to Ragusa – Comiso Airport and Catania Airport. Comiso Aiport is the closest airport to Ragusa but there are only a few flights that operate in this airport. 

At the moment, only Tirana, Albania has direct international flights to Comiso. Mainland Italy, on the other hand, has flights from Rome, Naples, Bologna, Bergamo, Pisa, and Milan Malpensa. If you are in any of these cities, flying to Comiso Airport will be convenient as it is only a 30 to 45-minute drive to Ragusa.

Catania Airport serves more flights, both domestic and international, so this airport might be where you fly to. Catania Airport is about an hour and 30 minutes away from Ragusa by car.

Sicily also has reliable public transportation such as trains and buses if you don’t plan on renting a car. Ragusa’s train station is in Ragusa Superiore and if you want to go to Ibla, you can take Ragusa’s bus service from the station to take you to the old town. You can also drive to Ragusa from anywhere in Sicily but some of the island’s streets are narrow and crowded, making driving a little difficult.

Where To Stay In Ragusa: Ragusa Ibla Vs Ragusa Superiore

Where To Stay In Ragusa Ragusa Ibla Vs Ragusa Superiore

Ragusa is a city located in the southeastern part of Sicily. The city, along with nearby areas, was devastated by the earthquake that hit southern Italy in 1693 which had over 60,000 casualties. After the earthquake, Sicily slowly started rebuilding its cities.

Ragusa started rebuilding but half of the city moved to a new settlement which is now upper Ragusa or Ragusa Superiore (new town). The lower half of the city was rebuilt in the same site which is lower Ragusa or Ragusa Ibla (old town). The two areas are separated by a deep ravine. 

Both cities were separated until 1926 and were fused in 1927 to become one provincial capital. If you want to stay in the historical part of Ragusa, the old town is the area for you. If you want to stay in a more modern area with more shops and businesses, Ragusa’s new town is for you.

Let’s take a look at some of the things the city has to offer so you can make a more informed decision before visiting Ragusa.

Best Neighborhood For Attractions

Best Neighborhood For Attractions

Ragusa Ibla

Ragusa Ibla is the city’s historic neighborhood and is the more popular side of Ragusa for tourists. This charming old town has Sicilian Baroque architecture and you will see this style all over the city.

One of the most popular attractions in Lower Ragusa is the Duomo di San Giorgio located in Ragusa’s historic centre. This cathedral was built in 1738 and was completed in 1775. After visiting the cathedral, you can head to the Piazza Duomo, Ragusa’s main plaza, where most of the restaurants and shops are.

Another attraction in Lower Ragusa is Giardino Ibleo. It is a public garden that was first opened in the 19th century and there are spots in the garden where you can view upper Ragusa.

Another must-see attraction in Ragusa is Portale di San Giorgio. You can actually see the facade of the porta as the other parts were destroyed during the earthquake. The portal was built in the Catalan style and is one of the few sites that survived the earthquake. Ragusa Ibla also has some of the best viewpoints where you can see panoramic views of the city. Some of the best viewpoints in Ragusa Ibla are Mirador de Ragusa Ibla, Panoramica su Ragusa Ibla, Ragusa View Point, and Percorso delle Scale.

Ragusa Superiore

As we said earlier, Ragusa Superiore is Ragusa’s new town. However, that is not to say that it does not have its own charms. The upper town of Ragusa has panoramic views of Ragusa Ibla and one of the places where you can see picturesque views of the lower town is Santa Maria Delle Scale. This site is one of the churches in upper Ragusa. It is built in the Baroque style with traces of Norman structure.

Another church in Ragusa Superiore that is worth visiting is the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista. The cathedral was built in 1694 and it has intricate and beautiful details showcasing the craftsmanship of those times.

If you want to see more of Ragusa’s Baroque details, visiting Palazzo Zacco is a must. It is a mansion in Ragusa that has intricate carvings in the Sicilian Baroque style. The mansion’s balustrades are actually supported by grotesque carvings.

There are also a lot of incredible viewpoints in Ragusa Superiore that will give you stunning views of Ragusa Ibla. If you are more into shopping, the new town of Ragusa also has a lot more options than the old town.

Best Neighborhood With A Car

Best Neighborhood With A Car

Ragusa has ZTLs (Zona a Traffico Limitato) or Limited Traffic Zones. In these areas, driving is restricted and if you do continue driving in these zones, you will get a fine.

Most of Ragusa Ibla is a ZTL so you will have to park in another area and walk to your destination. Ragusa Superiore, on the other hand, is more accessible and has better parking. If you are planning on renting a car, staying in Upper Ragusa is the better choice. Do note that the pathway between the new and old town can be quite steep. You will have a lot of walking to do if you plan on exploring both sides of the city.

Best Neighborhood For Restaurants

Best Neighborhood For Restaurants

Ragusa is not only known for its beautiful sights and attractions. The city is also known for its food and it is actually home to some of the Michelin star restaurants in Sicily.

Ragusa Ibla

Ciccio Sultano Duomo is located in Ragusa Ibla and is a two-Michelin-starred restaurant that serves seafood, pasta, and meat dishes. The Duomo also has vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Another popular restaurant in Lower Ragusa is That’s a Moro. This is a museum restaurant that features the works of the artist Michele Nigro. That’s a Moro serves typical Ragusa cuisine such as pizza, pasta, meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes.

If you want to dine in a restaurant with a view, head on to Terrazza dell’Orologio. It is about a 5-minute walk from the San Giorgio cathedral. It can be a bit hard to find the place but the food (and the view!) is definitely worth your trip. This restaurant serves pasta, seafood, pizza, and meat dishes.

Ragusa Superiore

One of the popular restaurants in Upper Ragusa is Trattoria da Luigi and it is just a 3-minute walk from the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista. This restaurant serves Italian, Mediterranean, and Sicilian cuisine. They also have vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options if you have special dietary needs.

Another 3-minute walk from the cathedra of San Giovanni Battista is Basilico. This restaurant serves simple but delicious Italian food that will keep you coming back for more. This restaurant also serves seafood, pasta, and meat dishes among others.

If you are looking for a café that serves good coffee and Sicilian pastries, Caffé Italia is the place for you. Aside from sweets, the café also serves traditional Sicilian dishes such as arancini, pizza, and timballo. This café is near Trattoria da Luigi and Basilico.

A 10-minute walk from San Giovanni Cathedral will bring you to Al Gradino 284, a bar in Ragusa. This bar is quite unconventional as you won’t be sitting inside a bar with barstools or chairs. Rather, you will be seated on a flight of stairs which serves as your table, too! If you are not averse to sitting on the stairs as you drink your aperitif and munch on some good food, you will have front-row seats to some of the best views in Ragusa.

Best Accommodation In Ragusa

Best Accommodation In Ragusa

Both Ragusa Superiore and Ragusa Ibla have a variety of options when it comes to hotels and other accommodations. Both sides of Ragusa have luxury hotels and most of the hotels in Ragusa are in a central location. If you want to stay in a boutique hotel in Ragusa Ibla, You can stay in San Giorgio Palace Hotel or Iblaresort Boutique Hotel. Both hotels are less than 10 minutes away from the Duomo. 

For hotels with a swimming pool, you can either book a room at Artemisia Resort or Hotel Villa Carlotta. These two hotels are a little far from Ragusa’s center but, definitely worth booking if you like to swim. If you want to stay in a historic country house, Eremo della Giubiliana is a great choice. Most Ragusa hotels have spacious rooms with most rooms featuring a sun terrace, and amenities like a luxury spa, and rooftop terraces. Some of the hotels in Ragusa do not have street parking, especially if you will be staying in Ragusa Ibla. Make sure to check the hotel for parking if you plan on renting a car.

Conclusion

Ragusa Ibla or Ragusa Superiore? One city with two sides can be very interesting to visit but it can also be hard to choose which area to stay in. 

Ragusa Ibla is Ragusa’s ancient city and it is rich in history being the city’s old town. There are a lot of beautiful attractions and good food, but, driving can be difficult as there are a lot of ZTLs in the lower city. The upper town is considered the modern area of Ragusa but it still has the same Baroque architecture that the old town has. Upper Ragusa just has more shops and businesses, and the city has more of a grid-like streets than that of the old town.

So, have you decided which area in Ragusa is best for you? We hope this article helped you decide before you go on your trip to Ragusa. If you have any questions, let us know!

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