Chocolate experience and Baroque Towns from Syracuse
Enjoy a sightseeing drive in Val di Noto area and reach Modica and Ragusa, two gems of the Barocco style. Stroll around the streets of these towns built partially on hilltops and partially at the bottom of the gorges and admire the overview on red-tiled roofs. Taste the granulose Modica chocolate and make your own choco-bar for a sweet and amusing experience.
– Travel through the Val di Noto area, UNESCO heritage
– Visit two wonderful examples of Baroque style towns
– Admire fascinating glimpses of rooftops
– Enjoy a great chocolate experience
– Make your own choco-bar
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
Today departure for the Val di Noto to discover two wonderful Baroque towns that belong to the UNESCO heritage. All this area was badly damaged in 1693 by a strong earthquake and largely rebuilt in Sicilian Baroque style. After around 1 hour driving through the country side we will reach Modica that is divided into two parts, the “higher” town and the “lower” town, connected by numerous flights of steps. Palazzi and houses rise from the bottom of the gorge seemingly stacked one on top of the other. Magnificent churches, with their inspiring domes, bell towers and intricate facades, punctuate the red-tiled roofs and one is struck by the uniform beauty of the whole.
Modica is custodian of a 400 year tradition of Sicilian chocolate-making. Being part of the Spanish kingdom for so many years meant that Sicily was often one of the first recipients of the new foodstuffs being brought back from South America. Cacao was one of these and today in Modica cold-worked chocolate is still produced using ancient Aztec technique: hand ground cocoa beans and sugar. Chocolate is often flavoured with chilli pepper, cinnamon or vanilla. This cold-working preserves more nutrients and more flavour than modern chocolate-making methods. Chocolate shops abound and it is possible to watch the “chocolatiers” at work. For the real chocoholic, it is included a sweet experience: put your hands on and make your own choco-bar! A workshop aimed to introduce you to this unique tradition and to discover how home made chocolate is still produced in the Baroque city of Modica.
Later, a short drive will lead you onto Ragusa to visit one of the most fascinating towns in Sicily. Ragusa has caused many visitor’s jaw to drop as they first set eyes on the lower part of the town. Almost entirely razed to the ground by the terrible earthquake, today the town is essentially in Baroque style. Public opinion on where to rebuild the town was divided, and so a compromise was made. The wealthier, more aristocratic citizens built a new town in a different site, now Ragusa “Superiore”, while the other half of the population decided to rebuild on the original site, on a ridge at the bottom of a gorge, now Ragusa Ibla. While the upper part has its fair share of architectural delights, it is the smaller Ragusa Ibla down below that really draws visitors. Whether you approach it from Modica to the south or from Ragusa Superiore, the sight of the jumble of houses, churches and civic palazzi piled on top of each other, clinging to the walls of the gorge, is really quite breathtaking. Although seemingly Mediaeval from a distance, once you enter the town’s heart, the Baroque logic of its plan becomes more obvious.
This afternoon we then return to Syracuse.
This tour is operated with English speaking Driver.
TOUR CODE: SRSCHOC