Modica, a gem of Sicilian Baroque, was destroyed by an earthquake in 1693, and rebuilt in the Baroque style of architecture unique only to this area of Sicily. Located in south-eastern part of the island, close to award winning Mediterranean beaches, Greek and Roman ruins, the largest active volcano in Europe, caves to explore, and beautiful World Heritage cities to discover. This area is steeped in cross cultural history, influenced by Phoenicians, Greeks, Carthaginians, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans, Spanish, and Italians.
Modica is a beautiful City, spread over the sides of two valleys, where two rivers merge into a wide rocky gorge. A flood in 1902 led to the rivers being covered over through the town, now forming the main roads. During medieval times, many of the homes were carved from the sandstone, into caves (grottas) overlooking the rivers. The labyrinth of streets climb up the gorges where over 100 baroque churches are interspersed with cobbled lanes, ancient steps, and fine nobles’ houses.
The area’s delicate blend of history, nature, and the sea has contributed to its rich gastronomical delights, including fresh produce year round, local specialty recipes for chocolate, wine, olive oil, meat dishes, fish, ricotta cheese, and pastries. Because of the local tradition for gastronomy, the City inhabitants denied the McDonald’s restaurant chain from building a franchise.
A new airport is scheduled to open to International flights in the nearby (35 kilometers) City of Comiso in 2011. Ryanair, an inexpensive airline in Europe, plans a major hub there.
Photos of Modica, Sicily: