[quote Gesualdo Bufalino].
Club of Conversation -ph. Ignazio Mannarano
A little bit farther down, with a shape similar to the church of San Giorgio, there is the church of San Giuseppe that holds a silver statue of the Saint dating back to the 17th century. The nearby church of Sant’Antonio, built in the Norman age, still has a Gothic portal on its facade, while the one of the sacristy has a Baroque style. Going to the left, we find the Church dell’Immacolata with another beautiful fourteenth century portal. While near the historic Byzantine walls, is the Church del Signore Trovato that was rebuilt between the 18th and 19th centuries. A beautiful painting, the Madonna del Carmine by Vito D’Anna, can be admired in the Church of Santa Maria di Valverde. In Piazza G.B. Odierna, the facade of the church of San Giorgio Vecchio is very interesting, with its wonderful Gothic-Catalan portal. A bas relief on the bezel depicts St. George slaying the dragon, with Aragonese eagles overhead.
But after losing count of the many churches we’ve viewed and visited, let’s rest in the beautiful Ibleo Garden, planted in the nineteenth century. It is nice and relaxing to walk inside and admire the stunning scenery. The garden, built in 1858, houses the imposing 2nd War Memorial and the churches dedicated to San Vincenzo Ferreri, San Giacomo and of the Cappuccini.
Near the garden, there are the archaeological excavation of Ragusa Ibla which brought to light many finds coming from ancient Hybla.
Ibleo Garden – ph.Turi Sicilia
Donnafugata Castle The name derives from the legend according to which Princess Bianca of Navarra imprisoned in the castle by Count Bernardo Cabrera, escaped through the tunnels that led to the surrounding countryside, today a lush park of almost 8 hectares with large Ficus trees and other exotic essences.
It is said to have been built on the old structure of a thirteenth-century tower. Apart of the building dates back to the middle of the eighteenth century but, as a whole, the structure was built by Baron Corrado Arezzo a century later, inserting in the main facade the loggia with the elegant trilobed arches. In the main floor we find an original furniture of the time and a large monumental staircase in stone-pitch.
Castello di Donnafugata a Ragusa – ph. Paolo Barone
Noteworthy are the hall of coats of arms with wall frescoes depicting the noble insignia of the great Sicilian families, the hall of mirrors, the music room, the billiard room and finally the improbable, from the chronological point of view but fascinating from the point of view of legend, the bedroom of the Princess of Navarre. The rooms, halls and corridors are decorated with stucco and frescoes.
Gastronomy Let’s start our food and wine journey with the tasting of pastieri, minced lamb and kid’s pastries, seasoned with pepper, cheese and eggs, typical of the area of Modica; then let’s taste the scacce, thin flour pasta leaves, stuffed with spinach aor broccoli and ricotta, sausage and ricotta or with tomato, eggplant. The scacce are also called impanate during Easter time.
We can also taste the partuisa rabbit, or the chickpeas cooked with pork and macco, a past of broad beans. Not to be missed is the caciocavallo, a typical cow’s milk cheese, modeled in parallelepiped forms , whose name derives from the particular position in which it was placed for aging.
Cioccolato di Modica – ph. Paolo Barone
Always in Modica we taste the chocolate among the best for its particular and ancient processing. Then the biscuits smoked, literally strangled by the priest. Tasty are the sweets with almonds, such as nougat, macaroons and the characteristic ‘mpanatiggi, which in addition to almonds contain chocolate, veal fillet and various spices.
Let’s end with a good wine: Cerasuolo di Vittoria, Ambrato di Comiso and Albanello.
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