Fonte Aretusa is a beautiful fountain in Syracuse, located in the historical center of the city, on the island of Ortygia. According to a legend from Greek mythology, Arethusa was a nymph, daughter of Nereus, who fled from her home beneath the sea, in Arcadia, and became a fresh water fountain on the island of Ortygia. Inside the pool of the fountain, grows papyrus, Ortygia being one of the two places in Europe where this plant grows, with the other being the Fiumefreddo River, also in Sicily, near Catania. SHORT HISTORY Over the centuries, the fountain undergone several transformations. At first, it was located outside the fortification walls of the city, and could be accessed from the sea through a steep staircase. In the 16th century, the water source was divided into several streams used for tanning leather, which formed a lake of about 200 meters in diameter. In 1540, the fountain was incorporated into the fortifications of the city, when the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V strengthened the military structures of Ortigia, to be freed in 1847, when the reservoir took its present form. The viewpoint next to the fountain is what remains of the ancient bastion, demolished Read more [...]
The Temple of Apollo (Tempio di Apollo) is one of the most important ancient monuments of Syracuse, located in Largo XXV Luglio, on the island of Ortygia. SHORT HISTORY The temple can be dated to the beginning of the 6th century BC, being considered the oldest Doric temple in Sicily. Over time, the temple underwent several transformations. In the first half of the first millennium of our era, it was a Byzantine church, of which the frontal staircase and parts of a central door are still preserved, and then it became an Islamic mosque. Subsequently, the Norman Church of the Savior was built on its place, which was later incorporated into a 16th-century Spanish barracks, while some architectural elements remained visible. These successive transformations seriously damaged the building, which was rediscovered around 1860 inside the Spanish barracks, and was brought to light thanks to the excavations carried out by Paolo Orsi between 1938 and 1942. ARCHITECTURE The temple has a lenght of 55.36 meters and a width of 21.47 meters. It is one of the first Greek temples made of stone, marking the transition from the ancient wooden structures. The building has a hexastyle front and a continuous Read more [...]
Piazza Duomo is the main square of Syracuse, located in the historical center of the city, on the island of Ortygia. The semielliptical square gathers many beautiful Baroque buildings, but also houses ancient treasures, as we will see below. ARCHITECTURE The most important building in the square is, without doubt, the Baroque Cathedral of Syracuse, dedicated to the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Cathedral, located to the east of the square, if one of the first Christian churches in Europe, and incorporates parts of a Greek doric temple dedicated to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom and war. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Archbishop’s Palace, a beautiful palazzo built in Baroque style in 1618. The palace is, today, the seat of the Archdiocese of Syracuse, and houses the Archiepiscopal Seminary and the ancient Alagonian Library. Next, we have the entrance to the Hypogeum of Piazza Duomo, a vast network of passages and tunnels dug in the soft limestone of the Ortygia island. To the south of the square, there is the beautiful Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, dedicated to the patron saint of Syracuse, Saint Lucia. The church was built between 1695 and 1703, Read more [...]
The Palace of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse (Palazzo della Sovrintendenza ai Beni Culturali di Siracusa) is a palace in Syracuse, located in Piazza del Duomo, on the island of Ortigia, across the square from the Archbishop’s Palace and the Cathedral of Syracuse. The palace is also known as the Numismatic Cabinet, due to the fact that it houses a permanent exhibition of ancient coins. SHORT HISTORY The palace was built in the second half of the 19th century, on the site of a deconsecrated convent, known as the Convent of San Giovanni di Dio, which housed the seat of the Archaeological Museum of Syracuse, now transferred in Viale Teocrito, in the modern part of Syracuse. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the palace, with two orders, was built in Neoclassical style. On the ground floor, there is the large portal and four rectangular windows. On the upper order, we can find five arched windows, separated by pilasters with Ionic capitals. Inside, there is the numismatic collection of Greek, Roman and medieval coins, many of which were found in Syracuse. HOW TO GET THERE The Palace of the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse is located about Read more [...]
The Archbishop’s Palace (Palazzo Arcivescovile) is a palace in Syracuse, located on the island of Ortygia, in Piazza Duomo, adjacent to the Cathedral of Syracuse. The palace is the seat of the Archdiocese Of Syracuse, and houses the Archiepiscopal Seminary and, also, the ancient Alagonian Library. SHORT HISTORY The original building was a palace of the Swabian era, built during the times of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, around the year 1200. Today, the only trace of this palace is an ancient chapel, well preserved, located inside the courtyard of the present 19th century building. This Swabian construction presents some cross vaults very reminiscent of the Maniace Castle. The palace underwent important changes in the Aragonese era. After the demolition of the first building, the current structure was commissioned by the Spanish bishop Juan de Torres Osorio of Syracuse, and the work began in 1618, under the supervision of the architect Andrea Vermexio. The structure of the Archbishop’s Palace, as we know it today, is the result of systematic restorations made during the 18th and the 19th centuries, which transformed the building into a late Baroque style palace tending towards Neoclassicism. The building was inaugurated in 1854, by the Read more [...]
Fontana di Diana is a monumental fountain in Syracuse, located on the Ortygia island, in Piazza Archimede. SHORT HISTORY After the creation of the Archimedes Square in 1878, the Municipality of Syracuse commissioned the sculptor Giulio Moschetti to build a fountain. The sculptor was choosen after his creation in Catania, the beautiful Fountain of Prosepina, has received many praise. After the presentation of the preparatory sketch of the fountain, the City Council commissioned the work through a resolution dated February 1, 1906. Giulio Moschetti built the fountain in about ten months, between 1906 and 1907, with the help of his son, the sculptor Mario Moschetti. ARCHITECTURE The fountain faces south and highlights the figure of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, protector of Ortygia in ancient times. The sculpture of Diana holds a bow and is accompanied by a dog, the attributes of the goddess of hunting. At her feet, there is Arethusa, the Nereid who fled from her home in Arcadia, beneath the sea, and according to legend was transformed into a fresh water fountain on the island of Ortygia. Near Arethusa, her lover, Alpheus, is amazed by what is happening to her. Inside the tank Read more [...]
B&B Vicere Speciale is a bed and breakfast in Noto, located near the Palazzo Ducezio and about 150 meters from the Cathedral of San Nicolò. All the rooms are decorated in a rustic style and fitted with wooden furnishings. Each room is air conditioned, has a flat-screen TV and an en suite bathroom. The B&B offers free WiFi and a variety of choice for breakfast, which includes both savoury and sweet options you can choose from. HOW TO GET THERE Vicere Speciale is located about 1.1 kilometers from the Noto train station. If you need to find the B&B on foot, use the map below.
Hotel Porta Reale is a 4-Star hotel in Noto, located about 80 meters away from the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata and 240 meters from the Cathedral of San Nicolò. The hotel is spread over 3 floors, and all the rooms offer an iPod docking station, air conditioning, free WiFi access, Sky TV and a phone with free national and international calls. The en suite bathrooms in natural stone are completed with free toiletries, bathrobes and slippers. Some rooms face the main street. A sweet Italian breakfast, including Sicilian specialities, is provided daily at the property. HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Porta Reale is located 1 kilometer away from the Noto railway station. To easily find it on foot, use the map below.
Gagliardi Boutique Hotel is a beautiful hotel in Noto, located about 40 meters from the Ducezio Palace and about 100 meters from the Cathedral of San Nicolò. Gagliardi Hotel provides concierge services, and features a garden and a terrace with a wonderful view of the city. Every room is fitted with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. Guests at Gagliardi Boutique Hotel can enjoy a buffet breakfast. The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, room service and luggage storage for guests. HOW TO GET THERE Gagliardi Boutique Hotel is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Noto railway station. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Teatro Tina di Lorenzo is a theater in Noto, located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, about 300 meters away from the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the Palazzo Ducezio. The theater was named after the famous Italian actress Tina di Lorenzo, who was raised in Noto and became a star on stage and in silent films during the first decades of the 20th century. The theater is also known as the Teatro Vittorio Emanuele III, and is defined by some people as the Scala di Milano in miniature due to its sumptuous interiors. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 19th century, the people of Noto, feeling the need for a theater, began to use a wing of the Ducezio Palace for such representations. However, the solution did not satisfied the ever increasing demands of the citizens, especially after Noto was named capital of the province of Syracuse in 1837, and in 1851 the decision to build a new municipal theater was taken. In 1855, a committee of citizens was formed to raise the funds necessary for the construction. Later, the architect Francesco Sortino was commissioned to design the new building. At his death, in 1863, the direction of the Read more [...]
The Church of Santissimo Salvatore (Most Holy Saviour) is a church in Noto, located between the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata. The church is part of a larger complex, along with the Monastery of the SS. Salvatore and the Episcopal Seminary. SHORT HISTORY The construction of the church began in 1767 under the supervision of the architect priest Andrea Gigante, to replace an old church dating back to the beginning of the 18th century. At his death, with the church unfinished, the initial project was partially modified by D. Antonio Mazza, and the church was completed and consecrated in 1802. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The decorative cycle of the interior is one of the most significant examples of the Sicilian cultural transition phase between the late Baroque and Neoclassicism. Begun in 1794 and completed two years later, the interior is the result of the pictorial interventions of Ermenegildo Martorana from Palermo and those in stucco of Giovanni Gianforma. Among the frescoes, we can find the Pentecost, Saint Paul on the Road to Damascus and the Appearance of Three Mysterious Men to Abraham. The paintings found on the side altars are also of Read more [...]
The Church of San Francesco d’Assisi all’Immacolata is a beautiful church in Noto, located about 180 meters from the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the Ducezio Palace. Along with the adjacent Convent of the Friars Minor Capuchin, the Church of Saint Francis of Assisi to the Immaculate is considered one of the most important religious buildings in Noto. SHORT HISTORY The church was built between 1704 and 1745, after a design by the architects Vincenzo Sinatra and Rosario Gagliardi. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The harmonious facade of the church, with two orders, stands at the end of an imposing staircase with three ramps. The magnificent portal of the church is flanked by two Baroque columns, with two niches on each side and a smaller one above. On the second order, we can find a beautiful stained glass window. The interior, with a single nave, is rich in paintings and funerary monuments dedicated to members of noble families of Noto. As you enter the church, you can see on your left, inside the vault of the SS. Innocenti (Blessed Inocents), a painting entitled the Massacre of the Innocents, made by Antonino Vizzini in 1706. The vault of B. Andrea Conti Read more [...]
The Church of Santissimo Crocifisso is a church located on the northern part of Noto, in Piazza Mazzini. The Church of the Holy Cross is the largest religious building in the city, after the Cathedral of San Nicolò. SHORT HISTORY The church was built in 1715 by the architect Rosario Gagliardi, after a church with the same dedication from the ancient city of Noto (Noto Antica), located on Mount Alveria, was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade, with two incomplete orders, opens onto the large Mazzini Square, preceded by a wide staircase. On each side of the central portal, finely carved in limestone, two Roman lions were placed until 1984, when were transferred inside the church to preserve them from the atmospheric agents. The church has a Latin cross plan with three naves, surmounted by an imposing dome. The interior is very bright due to the large windows of the central nave. The wooden reliquary cross located in the apse was carved in 1746 by Vincenzo Rotondo, after a design by Gagliardi. On each side of the cross are two oval-shaped canvases depicting the Madonna Addolorata (Our Lady of Sorrows) and San Giovanni. Read more [...]
Palazzo Ducezio, the seat of the Town Hall of Noto, is a beautiful palace located across the Piazza del Municipio from the Cathedral of San Nicolò. The palace was named in honor of Ducezio, King of the Sicels and founder of Noto. SHORT HISTORY The palace was designed by the architect Vincenzo Sinatra in 1746, inspired by some French palaces of the 17th century, but was completed only in 1830. She second floor of the palace was built in the first half of the 20th century by the architect Francesco La Grassa. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The convex facade of the palace is characterized by twenty arches supported by columns with Ionic capitals in the lower section, and by thirteen rectangular windows in the upper section. Inside, we can find the Sala degli Specchi (Hall of Mirrors), an oval-shaped hall decorated with stuccos and sumptuous mirrors at the end of the 19th century. Over time, the Hall of Mirrors was used to receive many heads of state. At the beginning of the 1930s, on the occasion of the official visit of Umberto and Maria Josè of Savoy, the hall was restored by the painter Gregorietti. The furniture was made Read more [...]
Casa Vialonga is an apartment in Modica, located about 170 meters from the Cathedral of San Giorgio and about 260 meters from the Duomo of San Pietro. Casa Vialonga features a seating area, a dining area and a kitchen equipped with oven. There is also a private bathroom with a bidet and shower. Free WiFi is available throughout the property. HOW TO GET THERE Casa Vialonga is located about 1.5 kilometers from the Modica railway station. To find the apartment on foot, use the map below.
Dimora Birulla is a bed and breakfast located in the historical center of Modica, only 150 meters from the Duomo of San Pietro and about 650 meters from the Cathedral of San Giorgio. Dimora Birulla features two double rooms and a suite, composed of a double and a twin room, each with its own bathroom. The rooms are elegant and comfortable, and come with free WiFi, air conditioning and a TV. In the morning, at the property, you can enjoy a buffet or an Italian breakfast. HOW TO GET THERE Dimora Birulla is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Modica railway station. To find the bed and breakfast on foot, use the map below.
Oro Hotel is a 3-Star hotel in Modica, located only 100 meters from the Duomo di San Pietro and about 600 meters from the Cathedral of San Giorgio. The hotel was born in a palace from the 18th century, meticulously renovated to offer guests a warm and intimate atmosphere. The hotel has eight elegant rooms on two floors, each named after an essence of Modica chocolate: Orange, Cinnamon, Jasmine, Vanilla, Mandarin, Pepper, Ginger, Cardamom. The rooms are air conditioned, and have private bathrooms completed with shower, toiletries and hairdryer. Oro Hotel also features a large terrace with a panoramic view of the city. HOW TO GET THERE Oro Hotel is located about 1.1 kilometers away from the Modica train station. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
The Church of San Domenico, known also as the Church of Santa Maria del Rosario, is a beautiful church in Modica, located near the Town Hall of the city, in Piazza Principe di Napoli. The church is one of the few buildings that remained intact after the earthquake of 1693, which caused over 60,000 deaths and destroyed almost completely nearby cities like Catania, Ragusa, Noto and Syracuse. SHORT HISTORY A first church, with the adjacent Dominican convent, was built on this place in 1461, the year in which the Dominicans settled in Modica. The original church was destroyed by the earthquake of 1613 and was rebuilt in 1678, to survive a few years later the great earthquake of 1693. During the Inquisition, the convent was used as a court in which were judged the ones accused of heresy. Beginning with 1869, the convent became the seat of the Town Hall of Modica. ARCHITECTURE The facade of the church has two orders. On the first order, we can find the portal surmounted by a large Dominican coat of arms, and two niches with as many statues. On the second order, there are also two niches housing two statues and Read more [...]
Teatro Garibaldi is a theater in Modica, located on Corso Umberto I, about 200 meters away from the Duomo di San Pietro. SHORT HISTORY The theater was born in the second decade of the 19th century, from the merging of a warehouse and a palace, receiving the name of Real Teatro Ferdinandeo. The building was enlarged between 1852 and 1857, reaching its current size. The facade of the building was built in Neoclassical style, with two orders, surmounted by a balustrade which presents, in the center, a bas-relief with musical instruments. Above the bas-relief, supported by two male figures, is a clock with an eagle on top, the symbol of the County of Modica. After the Unification of Italy, the theater was named after Giuseppe Garibaldi. In 1870, the building became municipal property. In 1943, the theater was adapted into a movie theater. At the end of the Second World War, the building was unsafe, the floors and decorations were deteriorated, and renovation works became necessary. When the works were completed, the theater had an enlarged stage, a greater number of seats in the stalls and a tribune, above which was the projection room. In 1984, the theater was Read more [...]
Castello dei Conti (Castle of the Counts) is a fortification built on a rocky spur in Modica, which was for centuries the seat of political and administrative power of the County of Modica. SHORT HISTORY The Castle of the Counts is mentioned for the first time in a papal bull dated August 21, 1255. Then, in 1272, the castle appears on a list of the Sicilian state castles (Statutum Castrorum Siciliae) made for Charles I of Anjou, King of Sicily between 1266 and 1285. In 1366, the Count Matteo Chiaramonte received here the visit of King Frederick IV of Aragon and, in 1401, the Count Bernardo Cabrera welcomed the King of Sicily, Martin I. Starting with 1361, the castle was also the seat of the Grand Court of Justice. With the city becoming the Capital of the District of the Intendancy of Syracuse, the seat of all the offices remained in the castle until 1865. With the Unification of Italy, the religious orders were expelled from their convents and monasteries, and the Castello dei Conti was definitively abandoned, transfering the Prison, the Court and the District Offices to the nearby convents that became available. ARCHITECTURE Inside the castle, Read more [...]
The Church of San Giovanni Evangelista is a church dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, located in the upper part of Modica, at the top of the Pizzo Hill, in the highest point of the city. SHORT HISTORY A first church was built on this place prior to the 7th century, and dedicated to Saint Peter. Some historical sources claim that the church was the first religious building in Modica. The decision to expand the church appears in a papal bull of Pope Eugene III, from 1150. The church and the adjacent Benedictine convent are also mentioned in a document dated March 1217. In 1454, the convent was demolished, leaving room for a larger church. Around the same time, due to the fact that another church dedicated to Saint Peter was built in the lower part of Modica – the current Duomo di San Pietro, the church on the Pizzo Hill was dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist. After the earthquake of 1542, the church was rebuilt to its current size. Then, after the earthquake of 1693, which seriously damaged the building, the church was rebuilt again, in Baroque style. The works lasted from the first decades of the Read more [...]
San Giorgio Palace Hotel is a 4-Star hotel located in Ragusa Ibla, in the ancient center of Ragusa, about 350 meters from the Duomo di San Giorgio. The hotel offers panoramic views of Santa Domenica Valley and rooms with free WiFi. A breakfast buffet is provided daily at the property. All rooms come with modern furniture and are equipped with a minibar, air conditioning and LCD TV. HOW TO GET THERE The hotel is located about 2.4 kilometers from the Ragusa railway station and about 3 kilometers from the city’s bus terminal. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Hotel Il Barocco is a 3-Star hotel in Ragusa, located in the ancient part of the town – Ragusa Ibla, about 350 meters from the Church of San Giorgio and about 140 meters from the Hyblean Garden and the Portal of San Giorgio. Set in a 19th-century building, the hotel offers spacious rooms with free Wi-Fi, satellite TV and air conditioning. A varied buffet breakfast is available each morning at the property. HOW TO GET THERE The hotel is located about 2.7 kilometers from the Ragusa railway station and about 3.5 kilometers from the city’s bus terminal. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
a.d. 1768 is a 4-Star boutique hotel in Ragusa, located in Ragusa Ibla – the historical center of the town, about 70 meters away from the Baroque Church of San Giorgio and about 400 meters from the Giardino Ibleo and the Portal of San Giorgio. The hotel offers 7 rooms and 3 suites, equipped with a desk, a flat-screen TV, a private bathroom fitted with a bidet and free toiletries. Some rooms feature a balcony and free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. A continental, buffet or gluten-free breakfast can be enjoyed at the property. HOW TO GET THERE The hotel is located about 2.4 kilometers from the Ragusa train station and about 3.2 kilometers from the city’s bus terminal. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Portale di San Giorgio (Portal of Saint George) is a monument in Ragusa, located in Ragusa Ibla – the ancient center of the city, a few meters away from the Hyblean Garden and the Church of San Vincenzo Ferreri. The Portal is part of the ancient Church of San Giorgio, now demolished. SHORT HISTORY During the second half of the 11th century, Geoffrey, the second eldest son of Roger I of Sicily and the Count of Ragusa, took care of the ancient Church of San Giorgio, expanding it. The Portal of Saint George was built during the first half of the 13th century in Catalan Gothic style, as part of the church. Starting with 1308, the church passed under the patronage of the noble Chiaramonte family, and later, after 1382, under the patronage of the Cabrera family, which began extensive reconstruction works on the building. In the 16th century, the Church of San Giorgio was rebuilt, but suffered some damage during the earthquake of 1542. During the 17th century, Pope Urban VIII proclaimed St. George patron saint of the town, and the church became the most important church in Ragusa. The earthquake of 1693 seriously damaged the church and, Read more [...]
The Church of the Santissimo Trovato is a church in Ragusa, located near the southern border of Ragusa Ibla, adjacent to the Byzantine wall of the ancient city. The church is very close to the Hyblean Garden and the Portal of San Giorgio. SHORT HISTORY The church, relatively new, was built between 1801 and 1807 by the will of the local people, on the place where it was found the sacred ciborium stolen from the Church of Sant’Antonio. The ciborium (a covered cup designed to hold the consecrated Eucharistic bread in the Christian church) was stolen on March 1, 1801, by a certain Cassarà, who later was captured and imprisioned. The last restoration of the church dates back to 1988. ARCHITECTURE The church, with a simple construction, has a portal delimited by pilasters that support a triangular pediment resting on a cornice. A second cornice, slightly higher, is the base of a large window also delimited by pilasters and volutes. The third level is represented by the bell gable. The interior has a single nave and does not offer visitors any particular work of art. HOW TO GET THERE The Church of the Santissimo Trovato is located Read more [...]
The Church of San Vincenzo Ferreri, also known as the Church of the Madonna del Santissimo Rosario, is a deconsecrated church in Ragusa, located in Piazza Giovan Battista Hodierna, near the entrance of the Giardino Ibleo. SHORT HISTORY The church was founded in 1509 by the friars of the Dominican Order, who also built, at the same time, an adjacent convent which no longer exists. After the earthquake of 1693, both the facade and the interior were rebuilt. Behind the apse of the church, an oratory used as the seat of the confraternity was also built. The church and the convent underwent major transformations during the 20th century. At the beginning of the century, the oratory was demolished to create the avenue inside the Hyblean Garden, which today connects the Church of San Vincenzo Ferreri to the Church of San Giacomo Apostolo. In 2004, restoration works of the interior and the facade were started. From December 2010, the building, with about 140 seats, was used as a public auditorium, for cultural events and conferences. ARCHITECTURE It is not known whether the current facade was completely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 or the today’s facade is the original Read more [...]
The Church of San Giacomo Apostolo (Saint James the Apostle) is a church in Ragusa, located inside the Hyblean Garden (Giardino Ibleo), in the eastern part of Ragusa Ibla, the ancient center of the city. SHORT HISTORY The church was built in the 13th or 14th century, probably between 1283 and 1392, by the will of the Chiaramonte family – the Aragonese eagle above the high altar indicates that period. The Confraternity of San Giacomo was associated with the church from the beginning, taking care of its services and functions. Before 1693, the church had three naves, but the earthquake of that year ruined it, and a few years later, the confraternity decided to rebuild it with only one nave. The roof of the church was added in 1705 and, between 1719 and 1720, the interior was decorated with several paintings by Giuseppe Pugliarello and Filippo De Stefano. In 1734, the master Simone Ventura of Chiaramonte was comissioned to realize the decoration of the wooden roof. The current facade was built in 1902 by Giuseppe Pinelli. Today, the church is administered by the same Confraternity of Saint James. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The facade has three orders, of which Read more [...]
Giardino Ibleo is a public garden located on the eastern limit of Ragusa Ibla, the ancient part of Ragusa, overlooking the valley of the Irminio river. SHORT HISTORY Until the early 19th century, the area of the garden was a deserted enclosure, with only some ruins of the Cathedral of San Giorgio, collapsed during the earthquake of 1693. The garden was built in 1858, on the initiative of some local nobles and a large part of the population, who worked for free for its contruction. A fence was added in June, 1907. On that occasion, the entrance to the garden was moved to its current position. DESCRIPTION The garden rises on a spur of rock, at an altitude of 385 meters, and occupies a surface area of about 15,800 square meters, with a perimeter of about 600 meters. Giardino Ibleo is characterized by the interesting coexistence of plants and trees with beautiful fountains and remarkable buldings, such as the monumental churches of San Vincenzo Ferreri, San Giacomo Apostolo and Sant’Agata, and the Capuchin convent located in the southeastern corner of the garden. In the garden, it is possible to distinguish approximately three areas corresponding to the different phases Read more [...]
The Church of Santa Maria delle Scale (Saint Mary of the Steps) is another Baroque church in Ragusa, located at the border between the modern part of the town, Ragusa Superiore, and the ancient center of the city, Ragusa Ibla. The name of the church derives from its location, at the end of the 340 steps that link the two districts of the city. SHORT HISTORY The church dates back to the Norman period, when it was called Santa Maria delle Cateratte, because it stood on the edge of a ravine. In the 14th century, it was rebuilt in Gothic style by the Cistercian monks of the Abbey of Santa Maria di Roccadia in Lentini and, after the earthquake of 1693, which caused the central and left aisles to collapse, it was rebuilt in Baroque style. After the earthquake, during the rebuilding, the orientation of the church was changed by 90 degrees, and the primitive apses were transformed into the current portals of the right aisle. ART AND ARCHITECTURE The church has three naves and no apse, and the left side portal is actually the original main entrance. On the counterfacade, there is a fresco of San Biagio, Read more [...]
The Church of the Holy Souls in Purgatory (Chiesa delle Santissime Anime del Purgatorio) is a Baroque church located in Ragusa Ibla, the historical center of Ragusa. SHORT HISTORY The church was built on the initiative of the Mazza family in the second half of the 17th century, dedicated to all the Saints and the Souls of Purgatory, and opened for worship on May 6, 1658. It was one of the few churches in Ragusa to withstand the earthquake of 1693, an event which caused around 5,000 deaths and destroyed almost entirely the ancient center of the city. In 1729, the church and the whole neighborhood came under the jurisdiction of the Church of San Giorgio. The bell tower was built in the first quarter of the 18th century, separated from the church, and placed above a stretch of the ancient Byzantine walls of Ragusa. In 1740, due to its small size, the church was rebuilt with a basilica plan with three naves, two chapels and a large presbytery with an apse. In 1757, the facade was finished, but the church was reopened for worship only in 1787, after the completion of the works in the presbytery area. Read more [...]
Lido di San Giovanni is the main beach of Alghero, located north of the town, close to its historical center, offering beautiful views of the promontory of Capo Caccia. The beach, part of the wonderful Riviera del Corallo, is about 1.4 kilometers in lenght, with soft, golden sand, and shallow, clear turqoise waters, perfect for families with children and ideal for snorkelling. On the Lido di San Giovanni Beach you will find free areas (spiaggia libera), but also establishments which rent sun beds and umbrellas, and provide changing rooms and showers. The beach is bordered to the east by a beautiful promenade delimited by rows of palm trees. Here, along Via Lido, you can find many hotels, bars and restaurants for all tastes. HOW TO GET THERE You can reach the beach, located north of the historical center of Alghero, with one of the bus Lines AF, AP and ALFA, getting off at the Chiesa San Giovanni bus stop.
Le Sirenuse is a wonderful 5-Star hotel in Positano, located about 400 meters away from the Marina Grande Beach. The hotel features an oyster bar, a Michelin-starred restaurant and elegant rooms with a private balcony. There are also a free swimming pool and a fitness center. The rooms have a white-themed décor and offer beautiful sea views. Each rooms is air conditioned and offers a satellite flat-screen TV and a fully equipped private bathroom with a large spa bath and soft slippers. The hotel’s wellness center is completed with a sauna and a hammam. The property can arrange boat rental on request, between May and September. HOW TO GET THERE Le Sirenuse is located in Via Cristoforo Colombo, about 300 meters away from the Sita Sud bus stop. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Villa Boheme Exclusive Luxury Suites is a condo hotel which offers accommodation on a hillside location in Positano, about 600 meters away from the Marina Grande Beach. All suites of the property come with bright furnishings and include a private terrace with panoramic views, air conditioning and a private bathroom with a hairdryer. Apartments also offer a fully equipped kitchenette and free WiFi is available throughout. HOW TO GET THERE Villa Boheme Exclusive Luxury Suites is located about 140 meters away from the Sita Sud bus station, which makes the connection between Sorrento and the towns on the Amalfi Coast. To find the property on foot, use the map below.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is a beautiful church in Positano, famous for the 12th century Byzantine icon known as the Madonna di Positano. SHORT HISTORY The history of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta is linked to that of the Benedictine Monastery of Santa Maria, which according to tradition was built in the 12th century, on the occasion of the arrival in Positano of the Byzantine icon of the Madonna. However, the monastery was founded earlier, in the second half of the 10th century, and was mentioned for the first time in a manuscript dated back to the end of the 11th century. The monastery was renowed until the middle of the 15th century, when the monks, perhaps frightened by the raids of the pirates from Cilento, abandoned it. After a few years, the church was entrusted to the commendatory abbot Nicola Miroballi, later elected archbishop of Amalfi. With some exceptions, the period of the commendatory abbots was disastrous for the church. The architectural traces of the monastery were gradually lost, while the church deteriorated profoundly. In the early years of the 17th century, the church was subjected to a reconstruction comissioned by the abbot Pirro Giovanni Read more [...]
Torre Trasita is a circular tower located on a rocky cliff in Positano, between the Fornillo Beach and the Marina Grande Beach, part of the defensive system built in the Middle Ages to defend the entire Amalfi Coast against pirates. The first information about the watchtower date back to the 16th century, the period of the Viceroys of Naples. In 1817, the tower was put on sale and, starting with that time, it was privately owned. In recent years, Torre Trasita underwent various transformations, and is now a beautiful guesthouse, which features a terrace with views over the sea, town and the Marina Grande Beach. At the guesthouse, all the rooms come with a wardrobe, a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom. Every room is fitted with a kettle, while selected rooms come with a kitchen with a dishwasher, a microwave and a toaster. HOW TO GET THERE Torre Trasita is about 270 meters away from the Marina Grande Beach, and about 1 kilometer from the Sita Sud bus stop located at the croassroads of Via Cristoforo Colombo and Via Guglielmo Marconi. To find the tower on foot, use the map below.
Marina Grande Beach, known in Italian as Spiaggia Grande (Large Beach), is the main beach of Positano, located southeast of the town. The beach is about 300 meters in lenght and about 50 meters in width, and is one of the liveliest and most cosmopolitan beaches on the Amalfi Coast. Marina Grande has two bathing establishments, which rent sun beds and umbrellas and provide changing rooms and showers, and a free area (spiaggia libera) in the middle. From here, you can rent a boat to Capri or to visit the nearby coves. At the northern edge of the beach, there are restaurants, bars and cafés, and at the eastern limit you can find the famous night club Music On the Rocks. HOW TO GET THERE The beach is about 700 meters away from the Sita Sud bus stop located at the crossroads of Via Cristoforo Colombo and Via Guglielmo Marconi. Although the beach is not hard to find, if you need directions, use the map below.
Hotel Stella is a 3-Star hotel in Rapallo, located in a building dating from the beginning of the 20th century, a short walk from the beach and the harbor. The hotel offers free Wi-Fi connection and has a terrace with a wonderful panoramic view. On the terrace, during the summer, you can find sun beds and deck chairs. On the ground floor, open 24 hours a day, you can find a bar where you can enjoy a glass of wine, soft drinks or a Cappuccino. HOW TO GET THERE Hotel Stella is located about 600 meters from the Rapallo railway station. The closet bus stop is Anagrafe, located about 70 meters away, on the bus Lines 7, 73 and 98. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Best Western Plus Tigullio Royal is a 4-Star hotel in Rapallo, located near the promenade Vittorio Veneto and the sea, and about 450 meters away from the Castello sul Mare. All the rooms are air-conditioned and come with an LCD TV, a mini-bar and a tea/coffee maker. Some rooms have a private balcony and some have a partial or full sea view. A generous buffet is served each morning, and it can be enjoyed on the sea-view terrace, if the weather is fine. Guests can also relax with a drink in the bar, or in the wellness area. HOW TO GET THERE Best Western Plus Tigullio Royal is located about 400 meters from the Rapallo train station. The closest bus stop is Bar Sport, located about 170 meters away, on the bus Lines 7 and 73. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Albergo La Piazzetta is a 2-Star hotel in Rapallo, located about 120 meters from the waterfront Vittorio Veneto and about 200 meters from Piazza Martiri per la Libertà and Chiosco della Musica. The hotel offers rooms equipped with air conditioning, TV and a private bathroom. Free WiFi is available on the property and each morning you can enjoy a buffet breakfast rich in desserts and homemade cakes. HOW TO GET THERE Albergo La Piazzetta is located 300 meters from the Rapallo railway station. The closest bus station is Bar Stop, located about 70 meters away, on the bus Lines 7 and 73. To find the hotel on foot, use the map below.
Castello di Punta Pagana is a castle located on the promontory of Punta Pagana, inside the private garden of Villa Spinola, in Rapallo. Together with the 16th-century Castle of Santa Margherita Ligure, located to the west, and the Castle-on-the-Sea from Rapallo, to the east, Castello di Punta Pagana it was part of a defense system built by the Republic of Genoa for the protection of the coast and villages on the western part of the Gulf of Tigullio. SHORT HISTORY The construction work of the fortress started in April 1625, comissioned by the Republic of Genoa and the municipalities of Rapallo, Recco, Chiavari, Moneglia and Sestri Levante. The structure became necessary due to the open hostility between the Genoese republic and Carlo Emanuele I of Savoy, Duke of Savoy, and for the fear of a possible attack by sea. The works were carried out quickly and, by December 1625, the structure was almost finished. In 1627, the moat with the drawbridge was completed and three years later, on July 1631, the fortress was placed under the service of the Republic of Genoa. Although the fortress was equipped with weapons, ammunition and gunpowder necessary for a sudden attack, it never Read more [...]
Chiosco della Musica (Music Kiosk) is a beautiful monument in Rapallo, built in Art Nouveau style and dedicated to the most important Italian and foreign composers in history. SHORT HISTORY At the beginning of the 20th century, the Italian immigrants of Rapallo in Latin America, desired the kiosk as a gift to the town they came from. The monument, 10 meters in diameter and 9 meters in height, with 12 columns supporting the dome, was designed by the architect Luigi Devoto and inaugurated on November 3, 1929. Inside the dome, work of the painter Giovanni Grifo, are depicted the following composers: Giuseppe Verdi, Gioachino Rossini, Vincenzo Bellini, Arrigo Boito, Ludwig van Beethoven, Daniel Auber, Giacomo Meyerbeer, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hector Berlioz and Christoph Willibald Gluck on the stalls; Johann Sebastian Bach, Gaspare Spontini, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, Domenico Cimarosa, Georges Bizet, Amilcare Ponchielli, Charles Gounod, Gaetano Donizetti, Claudio Monteverdi, Georg Friedrich Handel, Franz Joseph Haydn and Giacomo Puccini in the medallions of the arches. Between the winter of 2009 and the spring of 2011, restoration work were carried out on the structure. The roof and the balustrades were renovated and the pictorial decorations were refreshed. On Read more [...]
Castello sul Mare (Castle-on-the-Sea) is a small castle in Rapallo, located on the waterfront Vittorio Veneto. The castle is the symbol of the town and was declared a national monument by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage. SHORT HISTORY The decision to build a castle for defensive purposes was taken after the events of July 4, 1549, when Rapallo suffered the assault of the Turkish pirate Dragut, who looted the town and kidnapped 22 young girls. The building, based on a design by Antonio de Càrabo, was begun in 1550, and the works were completed one year later. With the construction of the Castle of Rapallo, the entire western area of the Gulf of Tigullio was completed with a defensive system, which included also the castles of Portofino, Paraggi, Santa Margherita Ligure and the nearby Punta Pagana. The new mayor of Rapallo, Benedetto Fieschi Raggio, was able to inaugurate the castle on May 10, 1551, and asked the Genoese Senate for the necessary artillery to defend the castle. In the following years, the castle was modified several times, expanding its structure. In 1608, it became the seat of the captainship of Rapallo. Here, the captain had his office, while in Read more [...]
Nana Aristova Jewels is a jewelry store in Palermo, located in the historical center of the city, a few meters away from the Quattro Canti Square and the Pretoria Fountain. Nana Aristova jewels can be worn every day. The designs are original and aim to inspire confidence and femininity in all women wearing them. Bracelets, necklaces, rings and earrings are handcrafted using materials such as 925 silver, gold vermeil and high quality gemstones. The artisans create each piece with love and according to antique techniques, resulting in beautiful and unique jewelry. HOW TO GET THERE Nana Aristova shop is located on Corso Vittorio Emanuele, 314. The closest bus stop is Fontana Pretoria, located about 170 meters away, in Via Maqueda, on the bus Line Arancione.
Tre Erre Ceramiche creates artistic ceramics entirely by hand in Palermo, since 1979. The company was founded by the Raffa husbands in Palermo, in 1979. Since 1990, sons and daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Raffa help their parents in the management of the company. Today, Tre Erre Ceramiche is a point of reference for lovers of majolica art. In every work they make, you can find the Sicilian tradition and the sunny culture of Sicily. HOW TO GET THERE The shop is located in Via Roma, 358. The closest bus stop is Cavour-Prefettura, located about 100 meters away, on the bus Lines 103, 134, 812 and Arancione. To find the shop on foot, use the map below.
Palazzo della Regione Liguria is a palace in Genoa, located in Piazza De Ferrari, between the Palazzo Ducale and the Palazzo della Borsa. Today, the palace is the headquarters of the Regional Council of Liguria. SHORT HISTORY In 1908, the engineer Cesare Gamba bought the area near the Church of Sant’Ambrogio. In 1912, he presented to the Municipality the project of a building adjacent to the church, which sparked some controversy. Two years later, in 1914, he presented a new project, but the negotiations, suspended during the First World War, resumed only in 1920, when Gamba decided to sell the area to the Company of Italian General Navigation. After a series of variations approved by the Municipality between 1921 and 1923, the final project designed by Gamba in collaboration with the engineer Giuseppe Tallero was completed in 1924 – a monumental palace in Neo-Mannerist style, with a tripartite facade on a portico with round arches. Currently, the building is the seat of the Regional Council of Liguria. HOW TO GET THERE Palazzo della Regione Liguria is located in Piazza De Ferrari. The closest Metro and bus station is De Ferrari, about 80 meters away. By bus, you can Read more [...]
Basilica della Santissima Annunziata del Vastato is a beautiful church in Genoa, located in Piazza della Nunziata, in the Prè district. The building is one of the most representative churches of the Genoese art of the late Mannerism and early Baroque of the 17th century. SHORT HISTORY In 1228, a community of Humiliati friars from Lombardy built on this place a convent and a small church dedicated to Santa Maria del Prato. In 1508, the convent and the church were assigned to the Conventual Franciscan friars from the Convent of San Francesco di Castelletto. The Franciscans started a new construction, better suited for their liturgical needs. Work began on July 20, 1520, when the first stone was laid. The church was built in late Gothic style to respect the artistic style of the mother church of the Franciscan Order, the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi. In 1537, the Conventuals left the church to return to the Convent of San Francesco di Castelletto, and the church passed to the Observant Franciscan friars, forced to leave the Convent of the Santissima Annunziata di Portoria. Following the dictates of the Council of Trent, the basilica was radically transformed beginning with 1591. The Read more [...]
The Church of Jesus and the Saints Ambrogio and Andrea is a Baroque church in Genoa, located in Piazza Matteotti, near the Palazzo Ducale and the Piazza De Ferrari. The church, belonging to the Jesuits from the 16th century, hosts works by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens, the Italian artist Guido Reni and by the greatest authors of the Genoese Baroque. SHORT HISTORY The primitive church of Sant’Ambrogio dates back to the 6th century, when the Milanese clergy fled to Genoa, following the Lombard persecutions. The Genoese captivity of the Milanese bishops lasted until the middle of the 7th century, when the bishop Giovanni Bono (John the Good) returned to Milan. Around 1522, the old church passed into the hands of the Jesuits. In 1589, the Jesuits rebuilt the church to its current form, on a project by the architect Giuseppe Valeriano. The facade of the church was completely rebuilt in the second half of the 19th century. Completed in 1894, the facade included two statues of Sant’Ambrogio and Sant’Andrea, by Michele Ramognino. ART In the central nave and in the dome, we can find frescoes by the painter Giovanni Carlone and by his younger brother, Giovanni Read more [...]
Old Port Genova is a bed and breakfast in Genoa, located about 150 meters away from the Aquarium of Genoa. The B&B is dedicated to people who want to experience the luxury and all the comforts of a 4-Star hotel, but in a cozy and friendly atmosphere. The B&B features free WiFi and an Italian breakfast is available each morning at the property. HOW TO GET THERE Old Port Genova is located about 950 meters away from the Genova Piazza Principe railway station. The closest Metro stop is Darsena, located about 280 meters away.
Grand Hotel Savoia is a 5-Star hotel in Genoa, located opposite to Genova Piazza Principe train station and about 1 kilometer from the Aquarium of Genoa. Built in 1897, the Grand Hotel Savoia is among the oldest hotels in Italy. Over time, the hotel welcomed some of the most illustrious international politicians, actors and musicians. At the Grand Hotel Savoia, each room is unique, evoking a journey across the open seas. All the rooms are embellished with marble and glass mosaics combined with the warm elegance of the parquet flooring. The hotel features a fitness area and a small wellness center, which includes a sauna, a large hot tub and aromatherapy showers. HOW TO GET THERE The hotel is located about 120 meters away from the Genova Piazza Principe railway station. The closest Metro stop is Principe, located about 350 meters away.