Similar to the neighbouring town of Noto, Ragusa was also so severely destroyed by the great earthquake in 1693, that it was decided to construct a new Upper Town (Ragusa Superiore) on a high plateau to the west, in accordance with a strictly rectangular plan. But in contrast to Noto, also old Ragusa Ibla was reconstructed, so that both parts show marked Baroque influence, which makes the town so attractive.
The Siculan town of Hybla, near the present Lower Town of Ragusa, where ancient finds have recently come to light, came under the influence of Sicilian Greeks in the sixth century. In 848 it was destroyed by the Arabs, and rebuilt by the Normans in the 11th and 12th centuries.
Beside the Baroque splendour of the city as well as of adjacent Módica or Noto, you should not miss either the long unspoilt sandy beaches, the marvellous coastline where Camilleri ’s popular “Commissario Montalbano” novels were filmed (e.g. Marinella = Punta Secca) as well as Donnafugata (20km), one of Sicily’s largest and best preserved castles set in the middle of a vast park, and origin of one of Sicily’s most appreciated wines.