In the province of Ragusa, Ispica is the southernmost part of the territory and marks the border with the province of Syracuse. The history of the place, known today as Ispica, goes back to the early Christian period, as witnessed by the rock ruins and catacombs found in the area. There were numerous lords who owned it as feudal and framed its history. The territory changed its name several times. Although the origin appears uncertain, however, it seems that the root of the name comes from the Latin Hyspicaefundus. Hyspicae was the name of a river: today's Cava d'Ispica River. However, until 1934 the city was called Spaccaforno.

Informations about Ispica

History about Ispica

The city was dominated by many, from ancient Greeks, Arabs, Normans, and Svevians to the Aragorns of Spain. There are many stories and legends about the city’s medieval past. Here was living Saint Peter, Ulysse landed over its beaches while wandering in the Mediterranean Sea to complete the will of Gods.
As a feud, Ispica belonged to the Statella family from the end of the 15th century until the abolition of feudalism in the 19th century. During the earthquake that devastated the Val di Noto in 1693, Ispica was completely destroyed, and thousands were dead. Later, the city was rebuilt, but in another, area, a flatter one. Nevertheless, the ancient town was never completely abandoned by its inhabitants and some neighborhoods were rebuilt.
After the earthquake, this city, like many others in South-Eastern Sicily, was also rebuilt in the late Baroque style. In addition to the Baroque, the city was decorated with Art Nouveau architecture. For a century the territory belonged for one part to Modica and for the other to the province of Syracuse. Only in 1927 did it become part of the province of Ragusa. The historical legacy of the Statella family is present in Ispica at every step. The emblem of the city is a shield divided into 4 sections bearing two towers and two halberds, belonging to that family.
Ispica today
Today Ispica is a welcoming town all its life is about agriculture and tourism. In fact, its coastal area is well known for its beaches which attract many Italian and foreign tourists. But it is agriculture that dominates the local economy. There are many intensive vegetable crops, especially tomatoes, and carrots. The “novella” carrot of Ispica received the PGI denomination from the European Union in 2011.


Ispica is situated on a 700-high hill. The city’s layout looks like a chessboard and was built this way after the earthquake that struck Eastern Sicily in 1693, luckily there is a part of buildings belonging to the medieval that survived the natural disaster. This part is located near the ancient medieval fortress the Fortilitium. The territory of Ispica includes Santa Maria del Focallo fraction.


Even though there are many places to stay in Ispica, including hotels, b&bs, and holiday houses, we advise you to stay in Marina di Ragusa, a strategic place to move easily to all the neighboring areas and at the same time enjoy the excellent climate and the fantastic blue flag beaches.
In Marina di Ragusa we will be happy to welcome you, with our best offers, all with the necessary services included to spend a nice holiday, enjoying the excellent climate, good food, and complete leisure! 
Cozy rooms in B&Bs, apartments, and single houses, all equipped with services and designed for your comfort. Our accomodations are located near the center of Marina di Ragusa and are very close to the sea which, with its very fine and clean beach, is the pride of the Province of Ragusa. Everything is hand close including supermarkets, restaurants, nightclubs, fast-food outlets, bars, and shops of various types.


Airports of Sicily

There are four airports in Sicily, and they are the best way to get there, two of them are situated in Eastern Sicily, and others in Western Sicily.
Airports in Eastern Sicily
Airports in Western Sicily

By Ground Transport

To get to Ispica we recommend the use of the bus or car, as the trains in this part of Sicily are not very fast.
By Car
The best solution which regards both time and comfort is always to rent a car to get to Ispica and in any case, it will always be useful to be able to move and visit nearby places.


From the nature perspective, the peculiarity of this part of the province of Ragusa is that environment is uncontaminated. On the coast, there are dunes of sand where the natural habitat appears untouched, all washed by crystal clear waters, small and large cliffs soaring to the sea, and the finest sand.

The most populous seaside village of Ispica is Santa Maria del Focallo

, although there is more than one particularly beautiful beach in the Ispica area. So, we also find Marina di Marza, Punta Cirica, and Porto Ulisse.
The local lidos are always a meeting point on summer days, this also applies to the beaches of Ispica. So, let's see which are the best lidos in the Ispica area where you can spend a day between breakfast, lunch, and an aperitif, also being able to rent umbrellas, deck chairs, and pedal boats.
Santa Maria del Focallo
Santa Maria del Focallo has a spotless past, behind the unspoiled nature here you can live the Roman history. The well-known First Punic War was fought on these coasts and beaches and only a century ago the Allies also landed there during the Second World War. There are lidos on the clean and well-kept beach, and at the same time there is a realm of nature and winds. The shallow waters make the beach of Santa Maria del Focallo suitable for families. The beach unfolds over 8 km of the coast with very fine sand interspersed with spontaneous vegetation. The rocks, golden sand, and incredible blue sea make this place a paradise on earth, it has also been awarded the blue flag by the FEE for 2021.
Lidi in Santa Maria del Focallo
Marina di Marza
The peculiarity of this beach is that the breakwaters have created many small lagunes, therefore many beaches within the beach. A quiet place that gets crowded in the summer, a destination for families cause of its shallow waters that are safe for children. The beach is not served by structures, but Marina di Marza is a place where you can peacefully spend a day at the beach.
Beach of Punta Cirica
Certainly, it is one of the most beautiful Sicilian beaches. The coves, caves, and cliffs open their guests a way to a paradise on Earth. Impressive are the stacks, strips of rock detached from the mainland, which rise in the middle of the sea with the unmistakable color that recalls that of the Sicilian Baroque of the Val di Noto.
Beach of Porto Ulisse
it is a fabulous place that floats between legend and savage nature. Ulisse is a Mythical hero that according to the Legend he landed in that bay, which explains its name of Porto Ulisse. The place of unbelievable beauty is all about white rocks that frame the crystal clear waters and stretch along the seaside in breathtaking beauty.
Lidi a Porto Ulisse
Beaches near Santa Maria del Focallo
From the village of Marina di Ispica, it is possible to get by auto to the beaches around, all of them have Lidos with facilities, bars, restaurants, pizzerias, and pubs…
West of Santa Maria del Focallo, by distance there are: 
East of Santa Maria del Focallo there are the following beaches:


In 2020, the city starts its way on the approval process for being part of the UNESCO World Heritage increasing this way the long list of late Baroque cities in the Val di Noto, in south-eastern Sicily. The request made to the international organization has a long history: 18 years of waiting. And finally, there is a hope that this city too will be able to honor the architectural beauty present in the province of Ragusa. The things to see in Ispica will surely leave the traveler breezeless. 

Churches and historical palaces

In Ispica it is the white limestone, typical of the area, that makes the beauty of the religious and civil architectural works shine, both are of considerable historical value. The late Baroque and Art Nouveau styles dominate here with their beauty. 
Churches of historical value in Ispica
Other Churches  of historical value in Ispica:

Palaces of historical value in Ispica

Other buildings of historical value in Ispica:

Archaeological sites

Ispica is an interesting place from an archaeological, picturesque, and naturalistic point of view. All life is lived around a valley, which here is called a “Cava” and dates back to the Bronze Age, Cava d'Ispica, to be precise. It is the longest in Eastern Sicily, with 13 kilometers it goes through the territories of Ispica, Modica, and Rosolini. The cave is also crossed by a stream, the Pernamazzone which contributes to the subsistence of the typically Mediterranean flora and fauna of the site.
Ispica Cave
It is the only existing one of its type, as the best experts agree, the Cava has the typical shape of a canyon. Its walls are full of holes, signs of prehistoric era settlements and their form recalls that of the defensive structures. Yet, here it is all the work of nature. In the rock, there are also cave dwellings and catacombs dating back to the Roman era. if the most suitable part for human settlement was in the northernmost territory, in the municipality of Modica, the southernmost part, the one in the Ispica area, was used as a defensive fortress.

Right here it is possible to see the man’s intervention to fortify the defense of the place. This territory is steeped in history centuries old. Here lived the Sicans, the Sicilians, and until 1693 Christian populations. Unmistakable deductions were made from the ruins, graffiti, and frescoes of saints found in the various caves, as indicated by the remains of the rock churches on the site.

Parco Forza Archaeological Site of Ispica
The road carved into the rock will take you to what once was the defensive part of the Cava d'Ispica. Inside the Park, there are the remains of local settlements. Remarkable is the presence of tombs, caves, and the ruins of some buildings that collapsed with the earthquake that struck the Val di Noto in 1693, such as Palazzo Marchionale.

Among the ruins of old settlements, you can also see the Church of the Annunziata and some parts of buildings such as stables and stables. Time for This place feels suspended. And as a witness of the distant past, every year, it becomes the ideal location to host one of the most popular living nativity scenes in Sicily. The renovations have been made to facilitate access for the disabled, a cafeteria on the site, the illuminated path for night visits and much more.

The cinema and the backstages of Montalbano in Ispica
Ispica is all about its streets, its rocks, its white stone, and its land kissed by the sun. Though how many times have we seen it on television or in the cinema? Right here, many takes were filmed by Il Commissario Montalbano, both external shots of the Cava d'Ispica and in the Loggiato del Sinatra, and in the magnificent buildings that embellish the city in late Baroque and Art Nouveau style. In this city were also filmed another TV series that is a hit: Il Capo dei Capi with Claudio Gioè. As well as the others like the great cinema of the Taviani brothers with Kaos in 1984 and Franco Battiato with his Perduto Amor.

Also in this city of Eastern Sicily was set Divorzio all italiana with Marcello Mastroianni and Stefania Sandrelli. We also can’t fail to mention Vittorio De Sica who used Sinatra's villa to shoot his last film, Il Viaggio in 1974. Even Ficarra and Picone, famous Italian comic actors in Let's Go to hell filmed some scenes here.



Ispica is a quiet town to spend a nice holiday immersed in artistic and natural beauty. Nightlife is lived in the streets of the center where the various clubs frame the summer evenings.
Patronal feasts and festivals
Among the most celebrated feasts, the celebrations of the Holy Week of Easter are very important for the community of Ispica. It is a charming procession of Christ to the column. And as always in Sicily, believers or not, all the people participate in the religious feasts.
Local Markets
The weekly market in Ispica takes place every Saturday in via dell'arte from 08.00 to 13.00. You can find all the typical range of products: fruit and vegetables, local gastronomic products, food, and clothing.

What to visit near Ispica

Being in the southernmost part of the province of Ragusa on the border with the territory of Syracuse, Ispica offers the opportunity to visit other cities in different provinces in a few hours.
What to visit in less than 1 hour by car from Ispica
What to visit in less than 2 hours by car from Ispica

Where to EAT 

The tradition of good food and the pleasure of conviviality in Sicily are a passe-partout of unforgettable taste experiences. Ispica is not an exception.
Restaurants and Pizzerias in Ispica
Fast Food