Ragusa

Ragusa is a hilltop city in southeast Sicily, Italy. Ragusa Ibla, the old town, is home to many baroque buildings, like the Duomo di San Giorgio, a grand church with paintings and stained-glass windows. There are sweeping views from the Giardino Ibleo, a public park with churches and fountains. In Ragusa Superiore, the city’s more modern part, is ornate Ragusa Cathedral, with a museum of religious art and relics.

 

 

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San Giorgio Palace

We stayed here for two nights.

Finding it if you are driving yourself is a bit convoluted, but we eventually found the street parking below the hotel. From that street it is a short walk to the hotel gate, and from thence to a long modern tunnel cut into the cliff. This takes you to an elevator, and thence up to reception. It is all modern and well decorated.

I was a little disappointed with our room. Although well decorated, it was a lot smaller and pokier than those shown in their publicity photos - maybe that is advertising for you, but I did expect better. The view from the room over the valley was very good

Check-in staff were helpful but when we had maintenance problems like lights not working, it took a while to sort them.

Access to the old town was from an unmanned door on the 5th floor via a swipe card. The area there was a bit soulless, but it did get you out into the town, and fairly close to the Duomo Square

The hotel does not offer dinner, so you have to go out for that - but there is a good choice of restaurants in the town from Wine Bars to 2 star Michelin

Breakfast was not one of their strong points. It was difficult to order coffee and eggs,, and one morning they forgot to bring our order. The buffet choice, though perfectly acceptable, was not memorable

I would say that it was very good value for money, and for what we paid, I was quite happy. But they could have done better.

 

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1 Banchi

This restaurant, more a taverna, is owned by Sr Soltano, whose main fame is as a 2 Michelin star chef at Duomo in Ragusa. i Banchi offers fine food at a much cheaper price. The food itself was very good, and, when we eventually met him, the manager ironed out the minor glitches that we had experienced during the meal. So much so that we went to Duomo the following day.

The waiting staff are not as polished/sensitive/caring as at the Duomo. And I really did not think that the waitress who served us should have been working there.

However the food did make up for her transgressions, and we did enjoy eating here. Clearly you are not getting the same food as the Duomo, but it is much cheaper. So if you want a really good meal at a price that is not going to break the bank, then do have a meal here.

 

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Duomo Restaurant

We had lunch here, and lunch is a cheaper option than dinner if you are concerned with price.. As with any Michelin starred restaurant, Duomo slips into a groove that lets you know it. The tasting menu was fantastic and we even had a visit from Sr Sultano himself. The service was perhaps a little too stiff, but that is a matter of personal taste.

I was somewhat nonplussed when the sommelier poured someone else's wine into our glasses, mixing it with our different wine. I pointed it out to him, but nobody bothered to change the glasses. In the end I insisted, and they, to be fair, sorted it out with good grace

The whole experience though was very positive, and will go into the bank of really nice places that we have eaten in around the world. Sr Sultano is known for his cooking that is both innovative and Sicilian, and the meal that we had certainly lived up to that. If you are in Ragusa, and you enjoy good food, then do have a meal here.

 

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A walk up to the new Ragusa

The old town of Ragusa, where our hotel was located, was on a hill, and when the burghers ran out of room on that hill, they colonised a neighbouring hill. It was to that that we walked. It was a fair old hike both down to the dip between the hills, then up to the newer town. Apart from the cathedral, there was little for the tourist there, but the views over Old Ragusa both leaving and returning were very good.

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U Risuntuoriu

About what I would expect from a pub in a tourist location anywhere in the world. They have had a designer in to give a "retro" feel to the interior, but it is slightly overdone and does not seem natural. We had a dinner here and I thought that the service was offhand and the food middle of the road. Perhaps one would be better going here for a glass of wine or a beer, rather than a meal

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On to Catania

Our Sicily Holiday