Scicli is a town in southeastern Sicily, the Province of Ragusa, considered a beautiful rare gem for its Baroque and recognized by UNESCO as a part of World Heritage in 2002. Scicli is a town of old- fashion charm given to it by its historic buildings and works of art yet at the same time it is warm and welcoming.
Some historical facts.
The origins of Scicli are very ancient, as suggested by the archaeological remains dating back to 3000 years ago. Over the centuries, the territory has been under various dominations which shaped the culture, traditions, language, and way of life there.
The city once stood on a hill, where there was a castle, a fortress used for defense against invasions of enemies. The territory’s shape mainly made up of caves and karst grottos favored the rock settlement.
It is only around the fifteenth century that Scicli started to take on its current structure and the population began to move from the hill to the valley. Even if it is not certain, it is believed that the origin of the name Scicli derives from Siclis, the name used by Egyptians to indicate the Siculi (ancient Sicilian tribes).
The current structure of Scicli was shaped in the eighteenth century, when, following the earthquake devastation of 1693, which struck all of eastern Sicily, it was rebuilt in the late Baroque style.
The municipality of Scicli extends towards the coast and includes three seaside villages
, 9 km away is the town of Donnalucata
, a fabulous destination and the local perfect point for good fresh fish purchase. 10 km from Scicli you can find Cava d'Aliga
, a small village with wonderful sea views, while, going 13 km away you’ll get to Sampieri
, also a small fishing village with a beautiful beach.
The economy of the city is mainly based on tourism, agriculture, and fishing
, last few years, there has been remarkable tourist growth, thanks to its magnificent sites of cultural and artistic interest and excursions to the places where the Commissario Montalbano was filmed
Throughout the territory of Scicli, there are cultivations of various flowers that are the main business activity of the area. The reference point for local, national, and international sales is the wholesale fruit and vegetable market of Donnalucata. Also in Donnalucata, there is a fish market appreciated and well known for the sale of fresh local fish.
The narrow streets and houses that crowd around large square, are among the elements that characterize Scicli and more generally the Sicilian Bbaroque. Beautiful churches and noble buildings are extremely decorated with masks and gargoyles with furious and grinning faces.
The town of Scicli is located at the place where three valleys meet and are dominated by rocks of a karst nature, it reaches the sea making its way among its narrow streets with crowded houses, squares exposed to the sun, and monuments of the town.
The map is interactive and indicates the center of Scicli:
Although in Scicli there are many places to stay including hotels, b&b, and holiday houses, we advise you to stay in Marina di Ragusa, a key place to move easily to all the nearby territories and at the same time enjoy the excellent climate and the fantastic blue flag beaches of Marina di Ragusa
We will be happy to welcome you to Marina di Ragusa
, with our best offers, which include all services necessary to spend a nice holiday. Cozy rooms in a beautiful B&B, or in apartments and single houses, all of them you will find high service and comfort.
Our accomodations are located near the center of Marina di Ragusa and very close to the seaside which, with its very clean sandy beach, is the pride of the Province of Ragusa.
Everything is close and handy including supermarkets, restaurants, nightclubs, fast-food outlets, bars, and shops of various kinds.
There are four operating airports in Sicily, that are the best solution to reach it, two are located in western Sicily and two in eastern Sicily.
Eastern Sicily airports
Western Sicily airports
It is advisable to take the car or the bus to arrive at Scicli because the trains take twice as long in eastern Sicily.
Catania Scicli bus: numerous daily buses connect the two cities are operated by the company AST, the buses leave from the central bus station of Catania and all pass through the airport. For timetables, visit the AST website.
Scicli Catania bus: leaves from Largo Antonio Gramsci, near piazza Italia, and stops at Catania airport. The duration of one way trip is approximately three hours.
Palermo Scicli bus: there are no direct buses to Scicli, the only solution is to take a bus to Ragusa and once you arrive there, take the connection for Modica – Scicli. The duration of the journey is around five hours, with no time for connections included.
Bus Trapani Scicli: there are no direct buses to Scicli
Modica Scicli bus: there are various connections during the daytime, also there are buses from Donnalucata, for timetables visit the AST website. From Modica various AST buses leave daily for the cities of eastern Sicily, the departure and arrival station in Modica is from the Piazzale Falcone e Borsellino on Corso Umberto. For information, visit the AST website.
AST transport bus connections:
Ragusa - Modica
From Modica, it is possible to reach such destinations as Scicli, Noto, Syracuse, Avola, Rosolini, Ispica, Pozzallo, Donnalucata, Palermo, Gela, Acate, Pedalino, Chiaramonte, Pachino.
Tumino Trasporti bus connections:
Renting a car to reach Scicli is always the best solution in terms of time and comfort and in any case, it will always be useful to be able to move and see nearby places.
Catania airport: it is about 139 km from Scicli, take the E45 Catania-Siracusa highway till the turn at Rosolini, continue on the Pozzallo-Marina di Modica-Sampieri and take the SP 40, which will bring you to Scicli.
Comiso airport: it is situated 50 km from Scicli, take the SP7 for Comiso, and take the SP115 which from Ragusa arrives in Modica where at the Sorda/Scicli junction take the SP42.
Palermo airport: it is about 287 km from Scicli. To reach it you need to get to Palermo and take the Palermo-Catania highway, then take the state roads 194 and 514 towards Ragusa, and then the SP115 which from Ragusa goes to Modica where at the Sorda/Scicli junction take the SP42. Or the E45 Catania – Syracuse highway, taking a turn at Rosolini, continue on the Pozzallo – Marina di Modica-Sampieri and then take the provincial road 40, thus arriving in Scicli.
Trapani airport: about 292 km from Scicli, it is advisable to rent a car and reach the Palermo-Catania road and then take the state roads 194 and 514 towards Ragusa and then the SP115 which from Ragusa reaches Modica where at the Sorda/Scicli junction take the SP42. Or the E45 Catania–Siracusa motorway, exiting at Rosolini, continue on the Pozzallo–Marina di Modica-Sampieri and then take the provincial road 40, thus arriving in Scicli.
Local beaches delight with their long golden sandy beaches, which in several parts become wild and with no human traces on them. It is the largest Ragusa’s coastline, and it has about 15 kilometers of beaches between Sampieri and Playa Grande. You can find both free and equipped beaches; all over the coastline the seabed shallows gradually, therefore it is safe for children.
Beaches in Scicli: from East to West
Costa di Carro beach: with its bay hidden between rocks and treeless flora, it looks like a shell that opens towards the sea, and visiting it on the provincial road will make your heart beat faster for its wild beauty.
Sampieri beach it is a romantic fishers’ village with a small port, golden dunes, and a pine tree park with necessary facilities situated near the beach; the promenade at the background of the beach gives a touch of everlasting charm. There are also the remains of the Penna kiln many times captured in the fiction “Commissario Montalbano”.
Cava d'Aliga beach: It impresses with its breathtaking panorama that opens to the view of sea caves, small rocky cliffs, and welcoming beaches where you can practice surfing and places to eat.
Donnalucata beach: is a polite and teeming town, appreciated for its seafood, and very crowded even in winter. It has two welcoming golden sand beaches, a crystal clear sea, and various cafes on the seafront that lead to the famous port of "Vigata" always used as a background in the fiction of "Commissario Montalbano".
Playa Grande beach: it charms with a very clear sea that goes west towards the untouched wild beach and is characterized by the Mediterranean scrub, and by the nature reserve at the mouth of the Irminio river.
Lidi in Scicli
All the beaches of Scicli, even if they are free, are equipped with showers, and there are always some Lidos, where a lifeguard is always present. The seaside resorts of Scicli are the perfect place to go and a nice meeting point on summer days. They are Ideal places to rent umbrellas, deck chairs, and pedal boats and pass the whole day between breakfast, lunch, and dinner and, why not, even stay till late at night?
The reality between attracting menus, live music, dances, aperitifs, cocktails, and appetizers, nights on the sea is transformed here into something unforgettable, with the stars as witnesses...
Amidst all the lidos, the best known and most frequented by the young public, the Pata Pata of Sampieri stands out, but also the Pappafico (Sampieri), is a place of entertainment in the whirlwind summer evenings.
.In Donnalucata you can enjoy beautiful evenings at the lido Aziz and after a pizza
, entertain yourself at the disco pub. In Playa Grande, the Titanic chalet lido has been a number-one attraction for twenty years for its fun evenings full of good music, cocktails, beautiful people, and guaranteed nice emotions.
For those who want to spend even more peaceful evenings with the family, but always in a fun way, with entertainment, and good food, there is the excellent Maracaibo Cava d'Aliga
The town of Scicli has been included in the World Heritage of UNESCO
together with the architectural monuments and entire streets which are worthy of this recognition. That is how Scicli lives, all among churches, historic buildings, museums, locations of the "Commissario Montalbano" set, archaeological sites, and narrow streets
. With its sophisticated and magical atmosphere, it invites you to discover its treasures.
Whether it is lighted by the sun or with the stars, you will be surrounded by pure beauty walking along via Francesco Mormino-Penna, with its glittering flagstones, the palaces of aristocracy, with neoclassical and modern elements, which are full of art and the late baroque churches, with stunning architectural and decorative adorns.
Narrow streets and houses all crammed around large squares are one of the elements that characterize Scicli and more generally the Sicilian Baroque
. The churches built in the canonical Baroque style are beautiful and hide numerous works of art inside. Even the noble palaces here are extremely decorated with masks and cupids with furious and grinning faces.
Scicli is a destination not to be missed. We recommend going up to San Matteo hill where there is a deconsecrated church and from where you can enjoy a spectacular view of the city.
Historical Building and churches of Scicli
There are numerous historical monuments to see in Scicli, including churches and palaces, in fact, every, street, every alley, is an emotion to be discovered since the whole town is a work of art.
Churches of historical value in Scicli
Following via F. Mormino Penna, you will come to the church of Santa Teresa dated 1854, which preserves inside historical treasures including valuable canvases from the 16th and 18th centuries, frescoes in the vaults from the 19th century, stuccos from the 18th century, and geometrically shaped pavement, made with the white stone of Comiso and the black pitch of Ragusa, worthy of being appreciated for its exclusivity.
It is almost impossible not to stop and have a look at the Church of San Giovanni, rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake, it is a place where the beautiful charms you with the decorations and frescoes and, inside is exposed "The Christ of Burgos", from the17th century depicting Jesus martyred on the cross, covered from the waist to the ankles by a skirt.
What is considered one of the most important historical-religious monuments of Scicli is the church of San Bartolomeo, set up in the splendid scenery of the San Bartolomeo cave, a natural canyon that dominates the building structure. Renovated after the earthquake of 1693, the church has a majestic facade of late neoclassical-baroque style, it is full of works of art dating back to the years between the 1500s and 1800s.
Other churches of historical value in Scicli
Historic buildings in Scicli
Amidst the buildings of historical value, one cannot miss the visit to the Palazzo Bonelli Patanè built at Scicli between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, it is full of stuccos, canvases in classic and liberty style, of original and precious furniture that takes you back to the splendor of a noble residence of past centuries.
It is almost a must to visit Palazzo Beneventano because it is considered the most famous baroque palace of Scicli and one the most beautiful in eastern Sicily. It is titled this way thanks to the facade, decorated with characteristic masks that are burlesquely stretching out towards passers-by. The balconies of the palace are supported by figures of fantastic animals, in the corner that joins the two façades of the house, enriched by decorations of ashlars in relief, there are two Moorish heads and the face of St. Joseph.
Other buildings of historical interest in Scicli
Archeological sites in Scicli
The Castellaccio and the Castle of the Three Cantons
Are dated back to the 13th century and are still visible and can be visited. The remains of the Castellaccio and the Castello dei tre cantoni are typical defensive fortresses built on a rocky hill, in the Colle San Matteo area, they can be reached by going up the walls of the church of San Matteo.
Archaeological park of Chiafura
It is situated along the entire walls of the hill of San Matteo and in the caves of San Bartolomeo and S. Maria la Nova. It is possible to visit the Archaeological Park of Chiafura, a prehistoric site which around the sixth century A.C. was used as a cemetery and which in the following centuries was inhabited by the poorest population.
One more way to find out all the beauty and uniqueness of its cultural heritage is to visit various museums, which impress with their particularity.
The Museum of the Ancient Cartia Pharmacy, dated 1902, contains the original furnishings with Art Nouveau decorations, the result of local masters’ woodwork and tools of the time, including ceramic majolica.
On the same street, there is the Museum of Costumes and Iblean Cuisine, where historical clothing and utensils used in the houses of the past are kept and exposed, here life and history talk to you through objects.
The historical and nature museum of San Vito via Matrice, on the hill of San Matteo is Very special and tells what has characterized and transformed the habits of a community.
Of significant anthropological interest are the Caves Museum "A Rutta di don Carmelo" at the archaeological site of Chiafura, visiting them you can study the housing habits of the population who, until the 1950s, lived in these caves.
Towards the end of the 90's, the Municipality of Scicli returned to be at the spot of the news, thanks to the television series "Il Commissario Montalbano"
. The series showed the way for the crowds of Italian and international tourists who come since then in large numbers throughout the year. We have collected for enthusiasts all the "Places that were filmed in Inspector Montalbano" in the Province of Ragusa
In Scicli you can take a real tour in the footsteps of Salvo Montalbano, in reality, the Palazzo del Municipio is the seat of both the "Commissariato di Vigata" with the Montalbano office and the office of the "Questor di Montelusa".
you can recognize the promenade with the port,
often framed as part of Vigata or Marinella, as well as in Sampieri the promenade and the Penna furnace
, the famous Mannara
, mentioned several times and filmed in television fiction. In Punta Secca, is situated the famous house of the inspector.
The actor Luca Zingaretti, who plays Montalbano, is at home all over the Ragusa area, during the filming period, usually, in spring, and it often happens to meet him and frequently we witness almost surreal scenes when while he is walking, he is interrupted with a greeting: "Buongiorno Commissario!" and he politely replies.
Just as it happens to find the streets blocked due to the sets set up for filming, but nobody gets too annoyed, as he is Salvo Montalbano, a son of Sicily considered "one of us".
What to see close to Scicli
There are many places to visit near Scicli, all of the historical and naturalistic value, those mentioned are some of the closest places that can be easily visited in one day.
What to see in less than an hour from Scicli
The city of Modica is 9 km away, it gave birth to the Nobel prize winner in literature Salvatore Quasimodo, it is famous for its late Baroque treasures "UNESCO World Heritage" and the renowned Modica chocolate.
Ragusa is 26 km away, it is the city where art and tradition live in harmony and where are kept untouched the baroque treasures of "UNESCO World Heritage" situated between its historic center and its ancient village Ibla.
Marina di Modica is 15 km away. the relaxing and popular destination for those who practice Windsurfing and those who love tranquility, a beautiful beach with golden dunes and crystal clear sea.
Pozzallo is 20 km away, it is a charming village on the seaside, with marvelous promenades and beaches. There is a tower of Cabrera, dated back to XV century, that stands out over the sea in its gothic splendor and attracts guests of the village.
Ispica is 22 km away, a beautiful town built on a hill, with various sites of historical and naturalistic value such as the Ispica’s cave, a place to visit with guided excursions, full of Mediterranean scrub and prehistoric sites.
The beautiful baroque city of Noto, part of "UNESCO World Heritage", is only 43 km away. There in addition to its art gems, you can also enjoy Infiorata (flower festival) which usually takes place in the month of May.
Portopalo di Capo Passero is only 50km away, it is an old fishing village on the extreme south-eastern tip of Sicily, interesting to visit with its tuna fishery, lighthouse, and natural beauties.
Marzamemi is 47 km away, it is a small seaside town, near Portopalo, known for the beauty of the village and the excellent restaurants where you can taste the local fish.
Marina di Ragusa is 16 km away, it is the heart of Ragusa’s summer life, hospitality, and entertainment, with its promenade full of clubs, life, and events and its beautiful beaches, more than two kilometers of the coastline from the mouth of the Irminio reserve till the rocks of the district of S.Barbara.
What to see in less than two hours by car from Scicli
At 132 km distance, there is Catania, a beautiful city of "UNESCO World Heritage", rich in historical monuments and churches, it rises in the Etna valley and is bathed by the Ionian Sea, and has a coastline marked by black lava rocks.
At 84 km distance, there is Caltagirone, a remote Sicilian city known for its ceramics.
At 78 km distance, there is Syracuse, a real jewel city of the Baroque style of the Val di Noto, also part of "UNESCO Heritage", it is known for its Greek theater and the splendid village of Ortigia, which are for sure to be visited.
At 115 Km distance, there is Piazza Armerina, the inland town of Enna’s province, known for its stunning mosaics and villa of the Roman period.
There are many things to do in Scicli where traditions, which here are the result of the various dominations are always present. They have enriched knowledge in many sectors and are deeply rooted and used by the locals. Like all of Sicily, Scicli is also a festive city, which welcomes and charms and when you move away from it, something always remains in a corner of the heart, like the light to warm us.
Patronal festivals and sagras in Scicli
Every year the streets of the city fill up, also thanks to the patron saint festivals that in Scicli are many and are a perfect combination of religion and local traditions, as well as the festivals that take place along the coastline attracting audiences from all over the province.
Feasts of Patrons
The weekend closest to March 19 takes place the
"Cavalcata di San Giuseppe"
, a flashback to the exodus of Egypt of the Holy Family
, it consists of a parade of horses, decorated with colorful flowers, which ride through Scicli; a perfect show to be experienced in first person.
Feast in Easter
Easter is celebrated here like nowhere else, here there is the very special "Festa del Gioia"
, or the resurrection Jesus
, raised on his shoulder to the rhythm of cheerful marches and brought to bless all the streets of Scicli in an atypical way, without an exact running order.
Madonna delle Milizie
One more fascinating feast which is celebrated on the last Saturday of May is that of the Madonna delle Milizie
, patroness of the city
, where took place a battle dating back to 1091 between the Normans and the Arabs
, in this battle took part unknown Female warrior, which contributed to the expulsion of the Saracens by the Normans.
The feast of the Madonna delle Milizie is the only one in the world in which the Madonna is represented with a sword and dressed as a warrior. On this occasion, you can taste the famous "Turkish heads", a very good sweet typical of Scicli.
During the summer, in August, there is the evocative Parade of "Sicilian Carts" through the streets of Scicli, where beautiful Sicilian carts create a unique atmosphere, transporting visitors back to the past.
Again in August, it is impossible not to get involved in the Taranta Sicily Fest, a twinning between Scicli and Puglia that fascinates with the sound of pizzica and southern folk music and every year attracts tourists from all over Sicily.
Of remarkable interest are also the festivals that take place in the area. One that is unforgettable is the Cuttlefish Festival in Donnalucata which is scheduled in the period of the Cavalcata di San Giuseppe, where you can taste the cuttlefish cooked in different ways, as well as not to miss the Agriculture Festival in Sampieri in the week of May 1, where you can taste local agricultural products, among these the cherry tomato stands out, the main product of Sicilian cuisine.
There are two markets in the commune of Scicli which take place on a weekly basis throughout the year, they are the right place to find numerous local vegetables and fruits, household items, and clothing.
Nightlife in Scicli
Scicli's nightlife is buzzing with people yet all in a relaxing atmosphere. There are various places including pubs, restaurants, and pizzerias with outdoor areas, it is a perfect combination of good food to taste and art to see. There are numerous people who go out into the streets between young people and adults.
Late in the evening, usually, Sicilians move either to the beaches of Sampieri which organize events throughout the summer season, or to Marina di Ragusa, the undisputed queen of Ragusa’s nightlife. The nightclubs in the center and in the port enliven the summer nights together with the "Il Koala" club, a guarantee of entertainment for over 20 years for all of eastern Sicily.
The Kalura association arranges trekking and walks throughout the province of Ragusa organized by environmental excursion guides, those in Scicli are interesting, and favor the discovery of its territory from unique and unusual perspectives.
You will be able to visit naturalistic and architectural sites and better understand the cultural aspects of the area; in the excursions, there is the possibility of tastings in agritourism, typical restaurants, and farms.
The most particular are the night walks in Scicli and its surroundings, an amazing journey through streets, alleys, stairs, dirt roads, and paths, and above all many emotions.
The routes are simple and also suitable for children, so all you have to do is take your trekking boots, and a backpack and set off on an adventure!
For information, contact: www.kalura.org 327 0069217 – firstname.lastname@example.org
La Terra Viaggi
Its tours give its clients a wide choice of places to visit, including Scicli, as well as Modica, Ragusa Ibla and Donnafugata, Syracuse and Ortigia, Noto, Marzamemi by night, Etnaland water park, Catania by Night, Scala dei Turchi and Agrigento, Avola, and Marzamemi lakes, Taormina by night and many others. …
To organize a nice day trip or multi-day tour comfortably seated on a bus, we recommend you to check the website www.laterra.it and to book what you prefer to see or go to its offices in Ragusa, Marina di Ragusa, or Modica.
We advise some of the excellent places in Scicli, where you can eat authentic good Sicilian food, the result of the culinary art based on small tricks derived from the various cultures, which have dominated the land of Sicily over the centuries and here the tradition of the typical Sicilian cuisine manifests itself its greatest expression.
Among the typical products, there are:
The cosaruciaru bean, is a kind of slow food, a sweet-tasting local legume, often served in original ways as appetizers or as a side dish.
Scacce, (local pies) stuffed with vegetables, meat, or fish, typical of Ragusan street food.
Iadduzzi Christmas biscuits are deliciously made with honey and almonds glazed outside.
Ravioli and cavati with pork sauce, is a typical traditional dish.
The Cuddureddi one can taste them in September, it is a kind of small biscuit boiled in grape-must.
Le Teste di Turco is one more typical sweet in the shape of a turban, filled with ricotta or cream.
Restaurants, Pizzerias and Trattorias
Ice cream and pastry shops: