Ragusa, Italy

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Ragusa

Ragusa is a city in southern Italy. It is the capital of the province of Ragusa, on the island of Sicily. It has 68.346 inhabitants (2001).

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Cathedral of San Giorgio

Built on a wide limestone hill between two deep valleys, Cava San Leonardo and Cava Santa Domenica. The city has two distinct areas, the lower and older town of Ragusa Ibla, and the higher Ragusa Superiore. The two halves are separated by the Valle dei Ponti, a deep ravine crossed by four bridges. One of them the 18th century Ponte dei Cappuccinni is particularly beautiful. In 1693 the city was devastated by a huge earthquake, following this catastrophe the city was rebuilt, many magnificent baroque buildings date from this period.

Ragusa Ibla hosts an impressive array of baroque architecture, including the Cathedral of San Giorgio, built starting in 1738 by architect Rosario Gagliardi, framed in the front by a flight of 250 steps and massive ornate columns, and topped by a large Neoclassical dome.

Another fine building is the Cathedral of San Giovanni Battista in Ragusa Superiore. Built between 1718 and 1778, its principal faade is pure baroque, containing fine carvings and sculptures. The cathedral has a high campanile in the same style. The ornate baroque interior is separated into three colonnaded aisles. The columns embellished with gold.

The Zacco Palace is one of the more beautiful baroque buildings of the city, its Corinthian columns support balconies of amazing wrought iron work, while caryatids of grotesques mock, shock or amuse the passer-by.

Ragusa is a small and quiet town, and one of the towns with the highest quality of life in Southern Italy. The economy of the surrounding province hinges mainly on agricolture (horticulture, olives), farming, tourism, and light manufacturing.

Nearby Modica is another beautiful baroque city.

External links

de:Ragusa (Sizilien) it:Ragusa ja:ラグーザ scn:Rausa

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