Modica town: one of the 8 late Baroque towns of the Val di Noto (South eastern Sicily)

Distance from the Hotel Borgo Pantano: 74.2 km (approximately 1 hour 4 min)
Modica town is in the province of Ragusa in Sicily. The city, which is the thirteenth most populous town in Sicily, in 2002 has been included, along with Val di Noto, in the list of World Heritage Site due to its historic center, full of Baroque architecture. Modica town, like other historical centers of the Val di Noto, owes its particular urban configuration to the uncommon shape of the area combined with the various phenomena of human activity. Many homes in the old part of town, stacked next to each other, are often an extension of the ancient caves, inhabited since prehistoric times. They were surveyed about 700 caves that were once inhabited, or otherwise engaged in some use, between the visible and the “embedded” in new buildings. Of great historical importance is the excellent state of preservation, in the historic center, the necropolis of Quartiriccio, district Vignazza, with dozens of oven graves dug in the rock, dating back to 2200 BC The urban fabric, perched on the sides of two valleys and the plains of the hills above, is a maze of houses, streets and long ladders, which can not but recall the medieval center of town, all wrapped around the spur of the hill of Pizzo , on which it rested the inaccessible castle.
Modica town is an unexpected surprise … It’s a bizarre effect, unique, something unreal as seen in the distorting prism of the dream, like an immense edifice of phantasmagoric fable, which, instead of plans, was made of layers of homes. From this accastellarsi, towering steeples and bell towers: with these words the poet and writer Verona Lionello Rivers described his astonishment in telling the pages of a newspaper his trip to Modica town in the sixties of the twentieth century. Churches usually do not overlook squares, but of imposing and spectacular staircases modeled on the slopes of the hills. The prevailing style of the monuments is commonly identified as the late Baroque, but more specifically, with regard to Modica town, we must speak of the Sicilian Baroque of South Eastern Europe, the period after the catastrophic earthquake of Val di Noto in 1693. The very distinctive the old town was disturbed by some ruined by construction successive sixties to the eighties by some project developers little conscientious, with the permission of a political class does not always live up to its role. As legacy and heritage of a historical oddity, which deprived Modica town its secular central political, administrative and cultural areas, the city retains its autonomy surfed. For example, when in 1955 it was established the Diocese of Dubrovnik, the city of Modica town, along with neighboring Scicli, Pozzallo and Ispica, remained part of the diocese of Noto, it belongs to the city since 1844. Also during the rule of the Spaniards Sicily in the sixteenth century it was introduced in the County of Modica working “cold” chocolate. The Spaniards, in turn, would have borrowed from the Aztecs. Currently there are traces of this type of work in Spain (“el chocolate a la piedra”), as well as indigenous communities in Mexico and Guatemala. Historically has been handed down as a typical sweet of noble families during the holidays and special occasions at home prepared him. In this way it is passed down to the present day, and only later became a confectionery product of international renown.