Travel itineraries: Donnafugata and Ragusa Ibla, Sea & wine

The castle of Donnafugata, made of stones that seem to shine in the Sun, the port of Licata and Cala del Re: fine sand, sea green and embraced water rocks. Then, Ragusa and the poignant beauty of its houses mounted on top of each other like in a crib, and this sumptuous Sicilian baroque but Severus together, Thanks to which this city has been included among the Unesco heritage. A city alive though, and button, remaining in the heart. Spend four days in Sicily, between Ragusa and Agrigento, It's not just deciding to spend a holiday in one of the richest in world history, but it's even come close to a different way of understanding the passage of time, who here runs slower than elsewhere, enhancing the beauty of old stones and what they have yet to be told. This itinerary passes through a charming and ancient Sicily, where the places are United by the wonder of colors: the ivory of the stones, the ochre sand and soil, the green plant including rise the agave and the blue sea. I'm used’ cultural tour, and it could not be otherwise, but it is also food and wine culture in Sicily, and for this I am taking you to visit a winery in the heart of NYSSA, but also to make a trip to the port of Licata, to be concluded with a stop in one of the most beautiful beaches in the area, then go trekking with donkeys in the midst of campaigns.

You may not know, but the Castle of Donnafugata you've probably already seen. If you love Montalbano's television series, you might recognize him in the villa di Balduccio Sinagra, but also scenes of the movie were filmed in the Castle by Roberto Faenza is the viceroy’ (read the book by Federico De Roberto, is a masterpiece) and of the “Tale of tales”, a film by Matteo Garrone. We Sicilians call it “Castle” with a feeling of grandeur’ , but in reality it is simply a country house at the end of the nineteenth century. I admit, rather sumptuous, but always country house. Beautiful surroundings and in neo-Gothic style: the light colour, the battlements, the nose cone, the side towers. The name "Donnafugata’ evokes the romantic legend of the escape of Queen Bianca of Navarra, widow of Martin I of Aragon (Regent of the Kingdom of Sicily), that after he refused the marriage proposal of count Bernardo Cabrera, He was imprisoned until he managed to escape (in fact the construction of the castle is later than the historical events and therefore it is an unproven explanation). Who has made Donnafugata a jewel among the jewelry is the Baron Corrado Arezzo, an intellectual and politician with great scientific curiosity and great sense of humor, and strongly linked to Freemasonry. Of the approximately 120 rooms, about 25 are accessible and the visit you will discover antique furniture, frescoed walls and trompe-l'oeil, huge chandeliers, hangings and sumptuous fabrics. Don't miss the garden, a park of eight hectares with artificial caves, a temple linked to the rituals of Freemasonry and a maze built like dry stone walls typical of Sicilian countryside. From the Park you ascend to a monumental staircase guarded by a carob tree, White terrace, dominated by agaves and pointed Sicilian sun light. At the foot of the Castle two rows of small houses, Once the dwellings of servanthood, now home to cafes and restaurants (I don't recommend because they are rather touristy).

From Donnafugata in Ragusa Ibla is a fast path, about half an hour, through the countryside toward the Baroque heart of the island. Ibla is the oldest part of Ragusa, situated on a hill about 400 meters high and therefore above the modern city. With its 18 world heritage monuments, It was built in the years before and immediately following the 1963, When Ragusa was destroyed by one of the many earthquakes that afflict the Sicily (I was born in Messina, and the earthquake of 1908 we should remember something) . The original settlement is much older, between the first period siculo and Byzantine. Today, through cobbled streets guarded by beautiful buildings with courtyards, where behind every Portal there is a garden or a monumental entrance, you will see the old portale di San Giorgio, the only part that remains of the ancient Church of San Giorgio, the Church of the Holy souls in purgatory, overlooking the city from a dark staircase, to the magnificent Cathedral of St. George, watching from the top of 54 steps the main city square: the Cathedral is one of the most beautiful baroque churches of the island (If you like this style, don't miss the centers of Modica, Scicli and Noto). Even Ragusa has been the scene of numerous television and film and the neoclassical ' conversation club’ He was captured several times: only in Sicily, where the art of Word, of the speech, challenge the eloquence of Roman memory, you could build a club to meet, simply, to chat. If you're in Ragusa I recommend two exceptional restaurants really, with high prices, but I assure you it is really worth: the restaurant Duomo di Ciccio Sultano (two Michelin stars and all of Sicily in the pot) And the Locanda Don Serafino (also two Michelin stars, Kingdom of brilliant young chef Michele Candiano), It is also a magnificent hotel. I'm used, If you want to get an idea of how did the nobles and wealthy Sicilians in 1700, visit Palazzo Arezzo by Trifiletti, open to the public by the family that, After years of living in Rome, decided to return to homeland: through their stories you can imagine those rooms as had to look two hundred plus years ago, full of life, of words, of future.

Sicily is also a land of great wines (It is not for nothing that the Romans called it Oenotria) and there are many wineries that are worth a visit between Agrigento and the Ragusa area, from COS (to Victory) in Feudo Principi di Butera, in O the farm Milazzo. Niscemi is the cellar Feudi del Pisciotto, owned by the Publisher Carlo Panerai: 150 acres, of which 44 hectares, Nestled among the gentle slopes surrounded by oleanders and olive trees. The vineyards are located at 250 metres above sea level about 7 kilometers from the coast, caressed so breeze. The place is fascinating because it includes in addition to cellar a relais built inside a beam of 1700 and the biggest Millstone of Sicily (the place where in ancient times stone vats tread the grapes) completely renovated. The two types are all reserved for restaurants and wine bars and Beam of the Sun (wine making, maturing and aging all steel) and the line whose labels were designed by leading Italian designers (with an aging in oak barrels up to 12 months). Part of the proceeds from the sale of bottles the result of a partnership with Valentino, Versace, Missoni, BlueMarine, Alberta Ferretti, Ferre, Brioni, Giambattista Valli and Carolina Marengo, who have lent their services free of charge, goes to fund the restoration of works of art in Sicily. From the cellar Feudi del Pisciotto don't forget to pay a visit to Bangalore to visit the baroque churches and admire the view over the plain of Gela from the viewpoint. I'm used, to understand more about the daily life of the Sicilians of the hinterland, visit Museum of rural life with an exception, Toto Ravalli, that in this Museum really took my heart. Soon hundreds of testimonies collected in the Museum will be neatly arranged in a new home, Thanks to European funding: a visit between the bags of the emigrants, the dishes ' sewn ', children's games, everyday tools and objects that tell the life and stories of the inhabitants of Niscemi will make you realize how, after all, nothing really changes. From last, a secure address to eat well: the restaurant Sciavuru, always in Niscemi. In Sicilian Sciavuru is the perfume, and here really smells will be invaded: that of homemade bread, of scaccie (a kind of focaccia) with olives, eggplants seasoned with Mint, aglio e olio, the vegetable garden. Mediterranean cuisine with light touch from the young chef and owner Virginia volcanic Neck and.

A self-respecting route in Sicily obviously has to go by sea: If you go from the port of Licata, especially in the morning, stop watching the fishing vessels which fall into port after fishing, unloading crates of mackerel, sole fish, depth mullet, sardines, bream, Octopus. The best the Sicilian sea has to offer. Then you go to relax and take a bath: one of the most beautiful beaches on the East coast south of Sicily is just minutes from Lambert and his name is no coincidence Cala del Re. An unspoiled, surrounded by rocks that slope down to the sea, with yellow sand and fine. If, like me, love the amenities, you will also find a bathing establishment where I would recommend taking a lunch break by choosing appetizers of fish and pasta with clams. For those who do not suffer from motion sickness (and I definitely won't return to this category) It will soon be possible to have dinner in the middle of the sea. Literally. Thanks to a patented system: a table for two nailed on a barge on which you will be served a romantic dinner with no other way out except at swimming. Finally, After relaxing, having taken a bath, have eaten and have done another bathroom, 18.30 o'clock is the time to get in touch with nature in a very unusual experience: trekking with donkeys. In the heart of the hyblaean mountains found in fact The pace of Donkey, a herd of donkeys ragusan breed who will accompany you with the owner, Anna Ignaccolo, in a long walk in the countryside of the area, via disused railways and all kinds of Mediterranean. A slow experience for adults, because the rhythms are dictated by the exigencies of the donkey and not of man, and an educational experience for children and teens, that so they will understand that with the land and the animals can and must have a working relationship, a kind of ' walking together’ to walk better.

I have to thank, Finally, Eden Hotel that put me in terms of telling you this travel itinerary in my land, why I have chosen it for a blog tour to discover the beauties of Sicily and was housed in two hotels: the Falconara Resort, on which I will not because you can find all the information in the’travel itinerary for Agrigento, and the Country Inn. If the Falconara is a hotel for those who love the discreet luxury and tranquility, the Sikania is inspired by rather more to the concept of tourist resort and has a target designed for families with children: the property is located within a Sic, Community interest site, consisting of golden sand dunes, Mediterranean and waters. And if the beach is a natural oasis, within the resort there is modernity: animation, Spa, restaurants, shops, pools. From here you can go on excursions in the territory, looking for a rural tourism and some’ outside the box, discovering Sicily as beautiful as it is unusual.

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2 comments

Dada July 27, 2015 at 10:13

I love Sicily and all it represents, kitchen, wines, colors, perfumes, people, markets, Sea, fish. I stayed at locanda don serafino in may lured from many comments, Unfortunately, I must say it was the worst experience I've had in 10 years of Sicily, such a disappointment. Perhaps the glories of the past have given way to dirt and neglect, clutter and disorganization, such a pity. I would like to attach pictures of the rooms so that you can realize that it's time to freshen up the place. for the restaurant no comment, I didn't view the disappointment that I gave the hotel

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Ada Parisi July 27, 2015 at 12:27

Hello Dada, enarok your experience. I've never stayed at the Inn, I have eaten at the restaurant and I must say I have enjoyed eating (and are pretty hard). I admit though I ate half a year ago, so I don't know actually what happened in may. However I will look into it and I'll let you know, because what dicim is not permissible to happen in a place that is deemed of excellence. Thanks and see you soon, ADA

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