I generally have a hard time appreciating Baroque, which I associate with frosting covered architecture encrusted with obese putti and over-inflated grandeur. Ragusa, a UNSECO protected Baroque town in Southern Sicily, just may have converted me into a Baroque lover. The town, largely destroyed in a massive earthquake in 1693, was rebuilt by its wealthy residents in the Baroque style all the rage at the time. Ragusa Ibla, the old town of Ragusa is a maze of streets we entered by descending a steep series of stairs. The old town is elegant, and the Baroque elements are sculptural rather than a mush of ornamental frosting.
Most endearing of all is the sense of humor in much of the Ragusa’s Baroque styling, some of it mannerist, some of it hilarious, even campy. The 18th century Palazzo Cosentini’s balcony has fantastic corbels (the area underneath the balcony that holds it in place).
How we got to Ragusa: bus from Agrigento.
Where we slept: Mediterraneo Palace. Price: €69 for a double. Recommended: no.
Ragusa Ibla, view from the stairs down from the upper town.
An early steampunk look.