Via Scale of Ragusa Ibla

Two churches and two saints expressed in two factions:“Sangiovannari” and “Sangiorgiari”, a city sometimes joined and sometime splintered by parochial fights, religious plots, ideological divergences and economic interests. The neighborhood along Via Scale is like an “accordion”: now the focus of the political and social life of the united Ragusa and then the periphery zone of the two divided Ragusa. From here, the step 58, we will tell you about this and other stories trough Intervallo rooms. Each number matches a step, each step matches a place to tell, we will bring you, between reality and imagination, into a fascinating journey to discover the memories kept in the drawers of our historical recollection.

Archi, Cancelleria, Dogana, Santa Maria delle Scale, Via Maestra

2017
August 3

0 – Archi

0 – Archi

Our journey starts from Piazza della Repubblica, once called Piazza dei Comizi because neuralgic center of the political life. Stop here. Close your eyes and with a jump in the past imagine this place surmounted by many “Arches” supporting the ancient aqueduct that was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. Instead, the Church Santissime Anime del Purgatorio remained intact. It was built in 1658 and its steep staircase and the scenic three-door façade dominate the square.

August 3

71 – Cancelleria

71 – Cancelleria

Climbing the “Stairs” that once were the only link between Upper Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla, at step 71 you will find the Old Stationery. Here, before the Royal Decree of 1865, which will divide the city of Ragusa into two municipalities up to 1926, there was the city hall and all the most important offices. This neighborhood had a development like an “accordion”: it was the center of the city and then became the periphery of both Ragusa as the two inhabited centers expanded.

August 3

140 – Dogana

140 – Dogana

“Italy is one, Ragusa is two.” And if the city breaks down into two autonomous entities, it is necessary to mark its boundary. Here, at step 140, it was supposed to be placed the customs. The division of the two Ragusa, enshrined after the Unity of Italy, has old origins: the parochial fights between “Sangiorgiari”, which after the earthquake of 1693 wanted to rebuild the city and “Sangiovannari “, who preferred to create the urban centre in Upper Ragusa. From April 17th 1695 to March 27th 1703, new Ragusa and old Ragusa were two different municipalities.

August 3

199 – Santa Maria delle Scale

199 – Santa Maria delle Scale

At Step 199 you will have access to the Church of Santa Maria delle Scale, which is located in one of the most scenic and interesting spots of the hill that overlook Ragusa Ibla. It was started in the Norman period, rebuilt in Gothic forms in the 14th century under Chiaramonte domain and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 in the present Baroque form. It is one of the oldest religious places in Ragusa where a mixture of architectural styles make it unique in its kind and give it the aura of timeless charm.

August 3

290 – Via Maestra

290 – Via Maestra

We are at the end of our journey. From the last step begins Via XXIV Maggio, once called “Via Maestra” because it was the main artery of the city and it led to the Cathedral of San Giovanni which rises majestically on the patio “Patro”. The church was built after the earthquake of 1693 with the large hanging chapel, the long balustrade and the adjacent garden. To arrive here, going back to Corso Italia, you will come across historic baroque buildings including Palazzo Bertini with its “tre potenti”, the three masks that lie in the vault of the windows.

A trip in the enchanting south-east Sicily

Intervallo is located in Ragusa Ibla, in a fascinating corner between Baroque, Monti Iblei and Mediterranean Sea. Beautiful in the day, full of charm at night, the old town will enchant you with unexpected views of alleys, palaces, churches and stairs. Since 2002 Ragusa has been included in the Unesco list with 18 sites declared World Heritage. From here you can reach two other Baroque Val di Noto pearls, Modica, which is only 13 km away, and Scicli 24 km. Among the places of interest you cannot miss, 20 km away, Donnafugata Castle, a splendid noble residence surrounded by carobs and an immense garden, and 30 km away, the Archaeological Park of Kamarina, which preserves the testimony of Greek domination on the island. If you like the sea, we recommend the Blue Flag beach of Marina di Ragusa, which is 25 km away. Here you can move along the Costa Iblea, to visit: Punta Secca, Torre di Mezzo and the Natural Reserve of Randello, on the West side and Donnalucata, Cava D'Aliga and Sampieri on the East side. If you want to discover the Colli Iblei and the traditions of the mountain communities of the province, you can visit Chiaramonte Gulfi, Monterosso Almo and Giarratana, all within 28 km. The closest airport is Comiso's "Pio La Torre", about 25 km. Easily reachable from Ragusa, either by car or by public transport, is also the Catania International Airport "Fontanarossa".