The province of Ragusa



The city of Modica
Photo © Affinità Elettive

Modica (Zip Code 97015) is 151 Km. distant from Agrigento, 156 Km. from Caltanissetta, 119 Km. from Catania, 160 Km. from Enna, 215 Km. from Messina, 298 Km. from Palermo, 15 Km. from Ragusa, that is the province it belongs to, 96 Km. from Siracusa, 324 Km. from Trapani.

Photo © Affinità Elettive 

Church of San Giorgio

The municipality has 51.807inhabitants, its surface measures 29.076 hectares and its population density counts 178 inhabitants per square kilometre. It rises along the coast on a hilly area, 296 metres above the sea-level.

The Town Hall is located in piazza principe Napoli, tel. ++39 0932-759111 fax. ++39 0932-944704, toll free number 800013717 (only for italian residence). E-mail address is:

It is mainly an agricultural and craft town. The main cultivations are: cereals, hothouse vegetables, olives, grapes, almonds. There are also sheep, cow, pig and horse farms.

The original name of this little town is Motyka, dated back to the 3rd century BC. The first evidence of a settlement goes back to the Bronze age. At first against Rome, later it was a decuman town. Under the Arab domination in the 9th century, it was a rich trade and agriculture centre. With the Normans it grew still further and later, in the 12th century, it was entitled county town  by Pietro I of Aragona.
It belonged to many lords, such as the Cabreras and the Chiaramontes. In the 16th century it received the ordination of arts and in the 17th centre was an important cultural centre, thanks to the Jesuitical works and the foundation of the Accademia degli Affumicati.

Photo © Affinità Elettive 

The castle

In 1693 the earthquake levelled the town, and later it was  rebuilt in the same location. Because of the many stream floods in the 19th century, water was rationalized and in 1902 the river beds were covered.

Amongst the most important monuments we mention the church of S.Maria in Betlem, famous for its Norman portal, the church of S. Maria del Gesù (15th century) and the 18th century convent of the Padri Mercedari which house the Town Museum.

One of the most famous Modica's citizens is the poet Salvatore Quasimodo, who received the Nobel prize for literature in 1959.

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