Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

15 Fun Things to Do in Ragusa, Sicily (Including Free Activities & Day Trip Ideas)

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

15 Fun Things to Do in Ragusa, Sicily (Including Free Activities & Day Trip Ideas)

Last Updated on March 7, 2024

Share the love

If you’re planning to visit southeastern Sicily, you may be searching for the best things to do in Ragusa – or just plain wondering if it’s worth visiting!

Between beautiful Baroque architecture, fresh local cuisine, and serene landscapes with views for days, romantic Ragusa has been known to sweep even the most discerning travelers off their feet.

But if that’s somehow not enough to convince you, here are 15 fun things to do in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through this hilltop city.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Is Ragusa, Sicily Worth Visiting?

As one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Val di Noto, visiting Ragusa is a no-brainer. Not only can you enjoy a Sicilian gem that’s managed to stay essentially unaffected by overtourism, but Ragusa is also the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Sicilian countryside.

This gem offers visitors an authentic Sicilian experience that’s harder to come by in the days of social media and mass tourism, one of the primary reasons I recommend it as one of the top babymoon destinations in Europe.

Is Ragusa Ibla Worth Visiting?

Ragusa Ibla is the number one draw for visitors to this beautiful Italian province. This lower town is the oldest section of Ragusa. As such, it’s filled with interesting history and endless charm.

What Is Ragusa, Sicily Known For?

In addition to its beautiful Baroque architecture, Ragusa gained well-deserved esteem after the filming of the hit television series Inspector Montalbano.

How Much Time Do You Need in Ragusa?

I recommend allocating at least two full days to Ragusa at a minimum. While the city itself isn’t particularly large, you’ll want to allow some additional time for day trips to surrounding towns in the Val di Noto, such as to magical Modica.

Fun & Free Things to Do in Ragusa

1. Soak in the Famous View Atop the Santa Maria delle Scale (Church of Saint Mary of the Stairs)

One of the first things that drew me to romantic Ragusa was a photograph overlooking the stunning Santa Maria delle Scale. You absolutely must add this picture-perfect spot to your list of can’t-miss things to do in Ragusa!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Translated to the Church of Saint Mary of the Stairs, the Santa Maria delle Scale is located along a stairway, as its name suggests. Originally built by Cistercian monks in the 13th century, it was later expanded in the 18th century to accommodate a growing population.

But the Santa Maria delle Scale is not your ordinary church – this one offers spectacular views over Ragusa!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

PHOTO TIP: The view from the Santa Maria dell Scale is a popular photo spot, so you may want to arrive here around sunrise to avoid crowds. Plus, once the morning light increases, your shot will be backlit.

If early morning isn’t an option for you, try coming around sunset for better lighting.

How to Get Here:

The Santa Maria delle Scale is located at Discesa Santa Maria, 97100 in Ragusa.

2. Admire the Iconic Blue Dome of the Santa Maria dell’ Itria

One of the landmarks that dominates the landscape of Ragusa – and stands out fondly in my memory – is the iconic blue dome atop the Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’ Itria.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Originally built in the 14th century by the Knights of Malta, this Roman Catholic church was also renovated in the 18th century in a Baroque style like the Santa Maria delle Scale.

(Psst, if you want to learn more about the Knights of Malta, be sure to check out my suggestions for the best things to do in Valletta, too!)

FUN FACT: The Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’ Itria was originally located in Cartellone, the former Jewish quarter of Ragusa.

If you have time, have a look at the interior as well. Inside, you’ll admire a unique wooden ceiling as well as beautiful carvings, paintings, and statues.

How to Get Here:

From the bottom of Ragusa Ibla (Chiesa delle Santissime Anime del Purgatorio), climb the stone stairs (Via Scale) to their end at Corso Mazzini.

3. Explore the Old Town of Ragusa Ibla

No trip to Ragusa would be complete without exploring the picturesque old town. Known as Ragusa Ibla, the old town is also known as the “lower town,” as it sits below Ragusa Superiore just above it.

Ragusa Ibla is one of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Val di Noto along with Modica, Noto, Catania, Militello in Val di Catania, Scicli, Calagirone, and Palazzolo Acreide.

In addition to some wonderful attractions (which we’ll discuss in the upcoming points), Ragusa Ibla’s magic is largely contained within its alluring streets.

This oldest section of town is littered with hidden gems and charming corners. As you wander, you’ll follow winding lanes of colorful buildings, elegant balconies, and intricate carvings.

You’ll quickly discover that the streets are quite narrow in Ibla, so be mindful of the occasional passing car!

4. Visit the Duomo of San Giorgio

The Duomo of San Giorgio (aka the Church of  San Giorgio) is one of the most famous landmarks and one of the finest examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture in Ragusa.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

This church is the product of architect and mastermind Rosario Gagliardi, who designed it in the 18th century. Construction of the church began in 1744 and the final modification was made in 1890.

Located in the heart of Ragusa Ibla overlooking the old town’s small main square, the church stands atop an impressive staircase consisting of 250 steps.

How to Get Here:

The Duomo of San Giorgio is located at Piazza Duomo, 97100 in Ragusa.

5. Enjoy People-Watching in the Giardino Ibleo

One of my favorite gems in Ragusa Ibla is the beautiful Giardino Ibleo. Strolling this beautiful garden is easily one of the best things to do in Ragusa, particularly on a hot day when you’re in need of some shade.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Laid out in the 19th century, Giardino Ibleo is a peaceful oasis where beautiful greenery and magnificent buildings, fountains, and sculptures coexist.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

FUN FACT: Giardino Ibleo is the oldest of Ragusa’s four total gardens.

This free public garden and city park is located at the bottom of the hill on which Ragusa Ibla sits. It consists of three main sections: the entranceway (which is home to various species of palm trees), a French-style garden, and the newest section (which is brimming with pine trees).

It also features a wonderful view over the valley of the Irminio River and the Iblei Mountains.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

There are numerous benches placed throughout the park for passersby to enjoy a pleasant break amongst the lovely scenery. The garden also makes the perfect setting for a picnic.

6. Admire the Many Baroque Churches

As a city brimming with Baroque architecture, there are many beautiful Baroque buildings and churches to be found.

Besides the Duomo of San Giorgio, here are some other Baroque points of interest:

  • The Cathedral of St John the Baptist
  • Bertini Palace
  • Church of St Matthew (located in Scicli, a village in the Ragusa district)

7. Hike from Ragusa Ibla to Ragusa Superiore (or Vice Versa)

Ragusa consists of two very distinct sections – Ragusa Superiore (the modernized upper town) and Ragusa Ibla (the old lower town). While each is unique, both is worth seeing.

Regardless of whether you’re starting from the top or bottom, I highly suggest making the noble hike between the two sections.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

How to Get Here:

To get from Ragusa Ibla to Ragusa Superiore, start at Chiesa delle Santissime Anime del Purgatorio at the bottom of Ragusa Ibla. From there, climb the stone stairs (Via Scale) to their end at Corso Mazzini.

Descend down Corso Mazzini just slightly to begin the climb up Largo Santa Maria, located uphill. You’ll arrive just above the Chiesa dii Santa Maria delle Scale in Ragusa Superiore overlooking Ragusa Ibla.

To get from Ragusa Superiore to Ragusa Ibla, follow these directions in reverse.

Fun Paid Things to Do in Ragusa

8. Join a Guided Walking Tour

If you’d enjoy some company – and first-hand insight – as you uncover Ragusa on foot, why not consider joining a guided walking tour?

Under the direction of a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll wander through Ragusa’s center while discovering everything from iconic monuments to some of Ragusa’s best hidden streets.

9. Visit a Palace

For a taste of aristocratic life in Ragusa, there’s certainly no shortage of beautiful palaces. If you have a couple of days to spend in the city, you may even wish to go palace-hopping and enjoy a couple of different ones at a clip.

Popular Ragusa palaces include:

  • Palazzo Arezzo Di Trifiletti
  • Palazzo della Cancelleria (The Chancellery)
  • Palazzo la Rocca
  • Palazzo Vescovile Schininà (The Bishop’s Palace)
  • Palazzo Bestini
  • Palazzo Cosentini
  • Palazzo Sortino Trono
  • Palazzo Zacco
  • Palazzo Battaglia

10. Take a Cooking Class at a Local’s Home

What’s a trip to Sicily without the delicious food? One of the best ways to enjoy fresh, authentic fare is by learning the tricks of the trade from a local!

Ragusa offers the special opportunity for you to connect with local people during an unforgettable cooking session in their very own private home. Here, you’ll see exactly how the sausage is made, so-to-speak (amongst many other wonderful traditional Sicilian dishes).

From sampling, to sharing stories, to toasting to good health, you’ll enjoy warm hospitality with the grand finale of a delicious warm meal.

11. Learn to Make Ricotta at a Farm

Italy is known for its delicious cheese, and one of my favorites is classic ricotta.

At this fun workshop, you’ll learn about ancient milk production techniques, including everything from processing to marketing.

As a reward for a job well done, you’ll savor fresh ricotta and enjoy a delicious dinner on a farm in the beautiful Italian countryside. Surely this will be an experience to savor and remember forever!

12. Enjoy a Delicious Bite at Osteria del Pane Cunzato

Speaking of delicious food, I didn’t think this list of the best things to do in Ragusa would be complete without a mention of my favorite local sandwich spot, Osteria del Pane Cunzato.

Located steps from the lovely Giardino Ibleo, the intimate and unassuming Osteria del Pane Cunzato was such a pleasant surprise. This is no ordinary sandwich shop that supplies bread from outside sources.

Instead, Osteria del Pane Cunzato bakes all of their mouthwatering sandwich bread right on site! Everything is fresh, delicious, and inexpensive.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Plus, the hospitality is top-notch. My husband and I struck up a conversation with the shop owner who was one of the warmest people we’ve met on our travels.

Although this place is still under-the-radar and you probably won’t see it mentioned in many guides, that’s all the more reason to go and enjoy it while it’s still a deliciously hidden gem!

How to Get Here:

Osteria del Pane Cunzato is located at Chiasso di Marco, 2, 97100 in Ragusa.

13. Book a Memorable Stay in Ragusa

As you put together your Sicily itinerary, you may be wondering whether to spend one or more nights in Ragusa or visit the town as a day trip. Personally, I think Ragusa is well worth the stay, as it’s a wonderful base for exploring some of the other towns of the Val di Noto. Plus, unlike higher-end boutique hotels in Taormina, Sicily, accommodations in Ragusa tend to be much more affordable.

Besides, an overnight stay will introduce you to the beauty of Ragusa in the morning, when songbirds fill the air with their joyous twittering. What could be better?

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

To help you decide where to base yourself, I’ve put together a separate neighborhood guide on exactly where to stay in Ragusa. In it, I’ve highlighted the pros and cons of Ragusa Ibla vs Ragusa Superiore.

In addition, I’ve shared my personal accommodation suggestions, including the charming Giardino Sul Duomo in Ragusa Ibla where my husband and I stayed. From self-catering budget apartments to luxurious boutique properties with enviable views over Ragusa, there’s something to suit every wish list.

Fun Day Trips & Excursions to Take from Ragusa

14. Take a Day Trip to Modica

As I mentioned in my previous point, Ragusa is a great jumping off point for other Val di Noto towns. My number one recommendation for a day trip would be to head to the neighboring town of Modica, located just 25 minutes away by car.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Known for its beautiful Baroque buildings and its rich chocolate-making culture, Modica is easily one of those hidden gems in Sicily. As such, it definitely deserves a place on your Eastern Sicily itinerary.

Similar to Ragusa, Modica is also divided into two sections: Modica Alta (Upper Town) and Modica Bassa (Lower Town). Modica Alta is considered the old town and it’s where you’ll find the most stunning churches, winding alleyways, and sweeping views.

Be sure to soak in the view located directly across from the Cathedral of San Giorgio.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Of course, the Cathedral of San Giorgio is well worth a visit a well. This stunning cathedral is known as the “Mother Church” of the city and is even included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

FUN FACT: If you arrive at noon, you can see the church’s floor sundial hit the solar meridian!

For all the chocolate lovers out there, you can’t miss a visit to the city’s popular Chocolate Musuem while in Modica. There are also guided tours available for all the juicy, behind-the-scenes bonuses of this mouth-watering experience.

15. Visit the Castello di Donnafugata (Donnafugata Castle)

Another great idea for an excursion from Ragusa is the Donnafugata Castle, located just over 20 minutes away by car in the sprawling Sicilian countryside.

FUN FACT: Donnafugata Castle is featured as the home of the Mafia boss in some episodes from the Commissario Montalbano tv series.

There are conflicting ideas and legends about exactly when construction on the castle began, but its origins trace back as far as the 14th century.

Inside, the castle features an impressive 122 rooms, though only the first floor is accessible to tourists.

Outside, Donnafugata Castle sits on stunning grounds and features an enormous historic garden punctuated by trees.

What to Know Before You Go:

Donnafugata Castle is open every day except Monday.

Summer hours (March 27 – October 23) are from 9AM to 7PM. Winter hours (October 24 – March 26) are from 9AM to 4PM.

You can check out admission fees and information here.

How to Get Here:

Donnafugata Castle is located at 97100 Donnafugata Free municipal consortium of Ragusa.

Since it will be difficult to reach the castle by public transportation, your best bet is to drive or join a tour.

That about wraps up our list of the best things to do in Ragusa. I hope I’ve convinced you to add this hilltop gem to your Sicilian bucket list, if you haven’t already.

Which of these activities or places appeal to you the most? Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to explore more of Ragusa and beyond in Sicily? Check out my other guides:

Did you find this post useful? Pin it to your boards!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

If you’re planning to visit southeastern Sicily, you may be searching for the best things to do in Ragusa – or just plain wondering if it’s worth visiting!

Between beautiful Baroque architecture, fresh local cuisine, and serene landscapes with views for days, romantic Ragusa has been known to sweep even the most discerning travelers off their feet.

But if that’s somehow not enough to convince you, here are 15 fun things to do in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through this hilltop city.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, I will earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full disclosure here.

In a rush? Pin this post for later!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Is Ragusa, Sicily Worth Visiting?

As one of seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Val di Noto, visiting Ragusa is a no-brainer. Not only can you enjoy a Sicilian gem that’s managed to stay essentially unaffected by overtourism, but Ragusa is also the perfect place to enjoy the natural beauty of the Sicilian countryside.

This gem offers visitors an authentic Sicilian experience that’s harder to come by in the days of social media and mass tourism, one of the primary reasons I recommend it as one of the top babymoon destinations in Europe.

Is Ragusa Ibla Worth Visiting?

Ragusa Ibla is the number one draw for visitors to this beautiful Italian province. This lower town is the oldest section of Ragusa. As such, it’s filled with interesting history and endless charm.

What Is Ragusa, Sicily Known For?

In addition to its beautiful Baroque architecture, Ragusa gained well-deserved esteem after the filming of the hit television series Inspector Montalbano.

How Much Time Do You Need in Ragusa?

I recommend allocating at least two full days to Ragusa at a minimum. While the city itself isn’t particularly large, you’ll want to allow some additional time for day trips to surrounding towns in the Val di Noto, such as to magical Modica.

Fun & Free Things to Do in Ragusa

1. Soak in the Famous View Atop the Santa Maria delle Scale (Church of Saint Mary of the Stairs)

One of the first things that drew me to romantic Ragusa was a photograph overlooking the stunning Santa Maria delle Scale. You absolutely must add this picture-perfect spot to your list of can’t-miss things to do in Ragusa!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Translated to the Church of Saint Mary of the Stairs, the Santa Maria delle Scale is located along a stairway, as its name suggests. Originally built by Cistercian monks in the 13th century, it was later expanded in the 18th century to accommodate a growing population.

But the Santa Maria delle Scale is not your ordinary church – this one offers spectacular views over Ragusa!

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

PHOTO TIP: The view from the Santa Maria dell Scale is a popular photo spot, so you may want to arrive here around sunrise to avoid crowds. Plus, once the morning light increases, your shot will be backlit.

If early morning isn’t an option for you, try coming around sunset for better lighting.

How to Get Here:

The Santa Maria delle Scale is located at Discesa Santa Maria, 97100 in Ragusa.

2. Admire the Iconic Blue Dome of the Santa Maria dell’ Itria

One of the landmarks that dominates the landscape of Ragusa – and stands out fondly in my memory – is the iconic blue dome atop the Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’ Itria.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Originally built in the 14th century by the Knights of Malta, this Roman Catholic church was also renovated in the 18th century in a Baroque style like the Santa Maria delle Scale.

(Psst, if you want to learn more about the Knights of Malta, be sure to check out my suggestions for the best things to do in Valletta, too!)

FUN FACT: The Chiesa di Santa Maria dell’ Itria was originally located in Cartellone, the former Jewish quarter of Ragusa.

If you have time, have a look at the interior as well. Inside, you’ll admire a unique wooden ceiling as well as beautiful carvings, paintings, and statues.

How to Get Here:

From the bottom of Ragusa Ibla (Chiesa delle Santissime Anime del Purgatorio), climb the stone stairs (Via Scale) to their end at Corso Mazzini.

3. Explore the Old Town of Ragusa Ibla

No trip to Ragusa would be complete without exploring the picturesque old town. Known as Ragusa Ibla, the old town is also known as the “lower town,” as it sits below Ragusa Superiore just above it.

Ragusa Ibla is one of eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites of the Val di Noto along with Modica, Noto, Catania, Militello in Val di Catania, Scicli, Calagirone, and Palazzolo Acreide.

In addition to some wonderful attractions (which we’ll discuss in the upcoming points), Ragusa Ibla’s magic is largely contained within its alluring streets.

This oldest section of town is littered with hidden gems and charming corners. As you wander, you’ll follow winding lanes of colorful buildings, elegant balconies, and intricate carvings.

You’ll quickly discover that the streets are quite narrow in Ibla, so be mindful of the occasional passing car!

4. Visit the Duomo of San Giorgio

The Duomo of San Giorgio (aka the Church of  San Giorgio) is one of the most famous landmarks and one of the finest examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture in Ragusa.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

This church is the product of architect and mastermind Rosario Gagliardi, who designed it in the 18th century. Construction of the church began in 1744 and the final modification was made in 1890.

Located in the heart of Ragusa Ibla overlooking the old town’s small main square, the church stands atop an impressive staircase consisting of 250 steps.

How to Get Here:

The Duomo of San Giorgio is located at Piazza Duomo, 97100 in Ragusa.

5. Enjoy People-Watching in the Giardino Ibleo

One of my favorite gems in Ragusa Ibla is the beautiful Giardino Ibleo. Strolling this beautiful garden is easily one of the best things to do in Ragusa, particularly on a hot day when you’re in need of some shade.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Laid out in the 19th century, Giardino Ibleo is a peaceful oasis where beautiful greenery and magnificent buildings, fountains, and sculptures coexist.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

FUN FACT: Giardino Ibleo is the oldest of Ragusa’s four total gardens.

This free public garden and city park is located at the bottom of the hill on which Ragusa Ibla sits. It consists of three main sections: the entranceway (which is home to various species of palm trees), a French-style garden, and the newest section (which is brimming with pine trees).

It also features a wonderful view over the valley of the Irminio River and the Iblei Mountains.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

There are numerous benches placed throughout the park for passersby to enjoy a pleasant break amongst the lovely scenery. The garden also makes the perfect setting for a picnic.

6. Admire the Many Baroque Churches

As a city brimming with Baroque architecture, there are many beautiful Baroque buildings and churches to be found.

Besides the Duomo of San Giorgio, here are some other Baroque points of interest:

  • The Cathedral of St John the Baptist
  • Bertini Palace
  • Church of St Matthew (located in Scicli, a village in the Ragusa district)

7. Hike from Ragusa Ibla to Ragusa Superiore (or Vice Versa)

Ragusa consists of two very distinct sections – Ragusa Superiore (the modernized upper town) and Ragusa Ibla (the old lower town). While each is unique, both is worth seeing.

Regardless of whether you’re starting from the top or bottom, I highly suggest making the noble hike between the two sections.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

How to Get Here:

To get from Ragusa Ibla to Ragusa Superiore, start at Chiesa delle Santissime Anime del Purgatorio at the bottom of Ragusa Ibla. From there, climb the stone stairs (Via Scale) to their end at Corso Mazzini.

Descend down Corso Mazzini just slightly to begin the climb up Largo Santa Maria, located uphill. You’ll arrive just above the Chiesa dii Santa Maria delle Scale in Ragusa Superiore overlooking Ragusa Ibla.

To get from Ragusa Superiore to Ragusa Ibla, follow these directions in reverse.

Fun Paid Things to Do in Ragusa

8. Join a Guided Walking Tour

If you’d enjoy some company – and first-hand insight – as you uncover Ragusa on foot, why not consider joining a guided walking tour?

Under the direction of a knowledgeable local guide, you’ll wander through Ragusa’s center while discovering everything from iconic monuments to some of Ragusa’s best hidden streets.

9. Visit a Palace

For a taste of aristocratic life in Ragusa, there’s certainly no shortage of beautiful palaces. If you have a couple of days to spend in the city, you may even wish to go palace-hopping and enjoy a couple of different ones at a clip.

Popular Ragusa palaces include:

  • Palazzo Arezzo Di Trifiletti
  • Palazzo della Cancelleria (The Chancellery)
  • Palazzo la Rocca
  • Palazzo Vescovile Schininà (The Bishop’s Palace)
  • Palazzo Bestini
  • Palazzo Cosentini
  • Palazzo Sortino Trono
  • Palazzo Zacco
  • Palazzo Battaglia

10. Take a Cooking Class at a Local’s Home

What’s a trip to Sicily without the delicious food? One of the best ways to enjoy fresh, authentic fare is by learning the tricks of the trade from a local!

Ragusa offers the special opportunity for you to connect with local people during an unforgettable cooking session in their very own private home. Here, you’ll see exactly how the sausage is made, so-to-speak (amongst many other wonderful traditional Sicilian dishes).

From sampling, to sharing stories, to toasting to good health, you’ll enjoy warm hospitality with the grand finale of a delicious warm meal.

11. Learn to Make Ricotta at a Farm

Italy is known for its delicious cheese, and one of my favorites is classic ricotta.

At this fun workshop, you’ll learn about ancient milk production techniques, including everything from processing to marketing.

As a reward for a job well done, you’ll savor fresh ricotta and enjoy a delicious dinner on a farm in the beautiful Italian countryside. Surely this will be an experience to savor and remember forever!

12. Enjoy a Delicious Bite at Osteria del Pane Cunzato

Speaking of delicious food, I didn’t think this list of the best things to do in Ragusa would be complete without a mention of my favorite local sandwich spot, Osteria del Pane Cunzato.

Located steps from the lovely Giardino Ibleo, the intimate and unassuming Osteria del Pane Cunzato was such a pleasant surprise. This is no ordinary sandwich shop that supplies bread from outside sources.

Instead, Osteria del Pane Cunzato bakes all of their mouthwatering sandwich bread right on site! Everything is fresh, delicious, and inexpensive.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Plus, the hospitality is top-notch. My husband and I struck up a conversation with the shop owner who was one of the warmest people we’ve met on our travels.

Although this place is still under-the-radar and you probably won’t see it mentioned in many guides, that’s all the more reason to go and enjoy it while it’s still a deliciously hidden gem!

How to Get Here:

Osteria del Pane Cunzato is located at Chiasso di Marco, 2, 97100 in Ragusa.

13. Book a Memorable Stay in Ragusa

As you put together your Sicily itinerary, you may be wondering whether to spend one or more nights in Ragusa or visit the town as a day trip. Personally, I think Ragusa is well worth the stay, as it’s a wonderful base for exploring some of the other towns of the Val di Noto. Plus, unlike higher-end boutique hotels in Taormina, Sicily, accommodations in Ragusa tend to be much more affordable.

Besides, an overnight stay will introduce you to the beauty of Ragusa in the morning, when songbirds fill the air with their joyous twittering. What could be better?

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

To help you decide where to base yourself, I’ve put together a separate neighborhood guide on exactly where to stay in Ragusa. In it, I’ve highlighted the pros and cons of Ragusa Ibla vs Ragusa Superiore.

In addition, I’ve shared my personal accommodation suggestions, including the charming Giardino Sul Duomo in Ragusa Ibla where my husband and I stayed. From self-catering budget apartments to luxurious boutique properties with enviable views over Ragusa, there’s something to suit every wish list.

Fun Day Trips & Excursions to Take from Ragusa

14. Take a Day Trip to Modica

As I mentioned in my previous point, Ragusa is a great jumping off point for other Val di Noto towns. My number one recommendation for a day trip would be to head to the neighboring town of Modica, located just 25 minutes away by car.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Known for its beautiful Baroque buildings and its rich chocolate-making culture, Modica is easily one of those hidden gems in Sicily. As such, it definitely deserves a place on your Eastern Sicily itinerary.

Similar to Ragusa, Modica is also divided into two sections: Modica Alta (Upper Town) and Modica Bassa (Lower Town). Modica Alta is considered the old town and it’s where you’ll find the most stunning churches, winding alleyways, and sweeping views.

Be sure to soak in the view located directly across from the Cathedral of San Giorgio.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

Of course, the Cathedral of San Giorgio is well worth a visit a well. This stunning cathedral is known as the “Mother Church” of the city and is even included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily

FUN FACT: If you arrive at noon, you can see the church’s floor sundial hit the solar meridian!

For all the chocolate lovers out there, you can’t miss a visit to the city’s popular Chocolate Musuem while in Modica. There are also guided tours available for all the juicy, behind-the-scenes bonuses of this mouth-watering experience.

15. Visit the Castello di Donnafugata (Donnafugata Castle)

Another great idea for an excursion from Ragusa is the Donnafugata Castle, located just over 20 minutes away by car in the sprawling Sicilian countryside.

FUN FACT: Donnafugata Castle is featured as the home of the Mafia boss in some episodes from the Commissario Montalbano tv series.

There are conflicting ideas and legends about exactly when construction on the castle began, but its origins trace back as far as the 14th century.

Inside, the castle features an impressive 122 rooms, though only the first floor is accessible to tourists.

Outside, Donnafugata Castle sits on stunning grounds and features an enormous historic garden punctuated by trees.

What to Know Before You Go:

Donnafugata Castle is open every day except Monday.

Summer hours (March 27 – October 23) are from 9AM to 7PM. Winter hours (October 24 – March 26) are from 9AM to 4PM.

You can check out admission fees and information here.

How to Get Here:

Donnafugata Castle is located at 97100 Donnafugata Free municipal consortium of Ragusa.

Since it will be difficult to reach the castle by public transportation, your best bet is to drive or join a tour.

That about wraps up our list of the best things to do in Ragusa. I hope I’ve convinced you to add this hilltop gem to your Sicilian bucket list, if you haven’t already.

Which of these activities or places appeal to you the most? Let me know in the comments below!

Ready to explore more of Ragusa and beyond in Sicily? Check out my other guides:

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Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily
Are you looking for the best things to do in Ragusa? This Sicilian hilltop city offers plenty of history, charm, and delicious eats. Come discover the top activities in Ragusa, from scaling the highest heights to eating your way through the city. #ragusasicily #ragusaibla #ragusaiblasicily