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Ragusa, renamed the city of bridges (for the three impressive structures that can be admired from the historic center) was devastated by a terrible earthquake in 1693, and later rebuilt and divided into two large neighborhoods.
In the upper Ragusa we find the most recent part, while in the ruins of the ancient city there is the so-called Ragusa Ibla.
The name “Ibla” derives from the ancient population of the prehistoric sites of eastern Sicily.
Right between the gorges of these mountains, an amazing scenario is offered by the “Cava d'Ispica”: a huge river valley 10 km long, which offers the possibility of taking a journey through time, following the traces of human settlements of the prehistoric era.
The “Cava d’Ispica”, according to many historians, is one of the most interesting Sicilian archaeological sites, due to the presence of numerous excavations; there are Byzantine rock chapels, catacombs, medieval settlements, caves with frescoes and castles.
The flora that today populates this area is important and luxuriant, with species of Mediterranean scrub, olive trees and fruit trees such as apricots, walnuts, pistachio and pomegranates. The fauna is not as lively as it used to be, although it is still easy to meet some reptiles or wild animals.
Always in Ispica, the “Loggiato del Sinatra” undoubtedly deserves a stop, designed by the architect Vincenzo Sinatra, it is a semi-elliptical square that is located in front of the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, and reminds us of Bernini's colonnade in St Peter's Square. It will leave you speechless!
Here there are lots of hotels and B&Bs which are filled with Italian and international visitors every year, thanks also to the movies shot in these enchanted places.
In Ispica, in the seventies, Vittorio De Sica, a few months before his death, shot some scenes of the film "Il Viaggio", with the iconic Sophia Loren.
In these places but more recently was filmed also the famous Italian TV series: "Il Commissario Montalbano".