Archeological sites of Ragusa

archaeology and history of the archaeological parks of the province of Ragusa

Archaeological park of Cava IspicaUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Archeological park of Cava d'Ispica

Cava Ispica is a river valley of 13 km, between the cities of Modica and Ispica. The valley guests the prehistoric necropolises, Christian catacombs, rock oratories, monastic  hermitages and various types of settlements.

Archaeological park of Cava Ispica - cave of the Larderia (3rd - 4th century)Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Grotto of the Larderia

The cave is considered one of the largest funerary complexes of the south-eastern cusp of Sicily. The overall length is about 42 m with about 400 arks.

Archaeological park of Cava Ispica - Il GinnasioUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The Gymnasium

The Gymnasium was created in Greece for military training but in the Hellenistic period acquired the function of the hall, a meeting room for the community. 

Archaeological park of Cava Ispica - rock complex of the fallen cavesUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The rock complex of the fallen caves

The rooms were articulated in quadrangular caves equipped with necessary services: alcoves, siloes for storing foodstuffs, channels and cisterns for water supply, niches with side recesses for shelves. 

Archaeological park of Cava Ispica - The Saints grottoUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The cave of the saints

The Byzantine-era church is preceded by an open-air vestibule and consists of two rectangular rooms: the larger used for worship and the smaller perhaps used as a sacristy. 

Archaeological park of Cava Ispica - rupestrian church of San Nicola (14th century)Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The church of San Nicola

The cave consists of a small room with a flat ceiling which is accessed from a side entrance. To the right of the entrance is the apse, next to which there is a niche. Traces of five pictorial panels remain on the walls. 

Archaeological park of Cava Ispica - rupestrian church of San Nicola - frescoes (14th century)Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

On the western wall there is a frescoes of the Madonna and Child of the glykophilousa type with the face reclined on the cheek of the Child. The church has late characters both in the iconographic layout and in the pictorial style and can date back to the fourteenth century.

Byzantine Church Of Vigna Di Mare (5th century)Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Archeological remains of Santa Croce Camerina

Byzantine Church And Pirrera Necropolis (530-550 a.d.)Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Byzantine Church And Pirrera Necropolis

This archaeological site is one of the most interesting places of the ancient Christianity (IV-VI century A.D.). Here there is a large cemetery complex and a three-naves basilica with mosaic floors. 

The Archaeological Area Of Kaukana And Byzantine Basilica (4th century - 9th century) by unkownUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The Archaeological Area Of Kaukana And Byzantine Basilica

The ancient Kaukana, located near the modern Punta Secca (the ancient Ras Karan-Rosacambra), in late antiquity (IV - IX century AD) was an important anchorage along the military and ration routes that from North Africa, through Malta, they reached Sicily. 

Byzantine Church Of Vigna Di Mare (5th century)Unione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Byzantine Church Of Vigna Di Mare

Built just outside the urban centre of Santa Croce Camerina, the church was part of the great heritage belonged to the ancient site of Kaukanae. 

The Church Of Mezzagnone, Bagno Di Mare (9th century) by unknownUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The Church Of Mezzagnone, Bagno Di Mare

For a long time it was considered a Byzantine church dating between the fourth and sixth centuries AD. However, following some recent archaeological excavations, scholars have discovered a typical Arabian bath, called “hammam”, which was probably built after 852 AD.

The Mirio Byzantine Necropolis (4th century - 5th century) by roman necropolisUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

The Mirio Byzantine Necropolis

The burial complex has been described as a late Roman necropolis of the IV-V century A.D. It consists of open air graves carved into the soft limestone rocks.

Rock church of Santa Maria della cavaUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Santa Maria of the Valley in Ispica

Of the rock church of Santa Maria della cava only the apse dug into the rock remains, with the earthquake of 1693 the whole part in front collapsed. The current facade is inscribed in a round arch, with commemorative plaques above it. 

Rock church of Santa Maria della cava - interiorUnione Nazionale Pro Loco d'Italia di Ragusa

Church of Santa Maria della cava

Inside it seems there are frescoes from different eras, the oldest dating back to the Byzantine period. 

Church of Santa Maria della Cava

In the Church there is the affrescoes of the "Madonna and child". Below there are saints, painted later in 1600 and Christ at the column.

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