Ragusa - Sicily
Ragusa is the capital of its province, but is still not the most popular tourist attraction, probably because of its distance from most other major Sicilian cities. The local dialect is especially strong and difficult even for Italians to understand. Even the specialty dishes seem foreign: one of the town specialties is panatigghie, pastries filled with cocoa, cinnamon, and ground meat..
After an earthquake destroyed parts of Sicily in 1693, Ragusa's residents rebuilt the city on two different hilltops; the two cities lived apart until their reunion in 1926. The old city was known as Ragusa Ibla or "Ibla". The new, modern city was called Upper Ragusa, Ragusa Superiore, or just "Ragusa," and features baroque and neoclassical buildings and churches.
Visit the Basicilica di San Giorgio, a church that dominates the town, built in 1738 by Rosario Gagliardo. The Church of San Giuseppe is in the baroque style. The Ibla Gardens, the town's public gardens, are another attraction worth spending time with. For more archeological remains, check out Museo Archeologico Ibleo, which includes mosaic floors from a Paleo-Christian church, and Greek and Roman artifacts and sculptures. You'll probably pass Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Scale, a rebuilt church that sits next to the stairs from the upper town to the lower town.
The tourist office is at Via Capitano Bocchieri 33. Transportation is available via bus or train to Upper Ragusa. Use an AST or SAIS bus from Catania, Noto, Siracuso or Palermo. There's also a city bus (1 or 3) that run from the upper to the lower towns. Ragusa is about an hour away from Syracuse.