Forget Taormina – Here’s where you really should go in Sicily

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Unlike other Baroque towns in Sicily (Noto or Scicli), Ragusa Ibla has a medieval Grimm flamboyance, where shutters are ritually opened at sunrise and pastel-painted cafes, palaces and workshops, such as Rosso Cinabro , line the cobbled streets. . Here, Damiano Rotella and Biagio Castilletti proudly display their craft, not in a gallery but in action. It’s in this cave bottega that this remarkable duo carves, carves and paints various wooden marvels, the best known of which is the traditional Sicilian cart, preserving centuries of Sicilian craft tradition. One might think that, having been mandated by Dolce & Gabbana to create bespoke carts and paint various kitsch appliances with traditional Sicilian touches, they reportedly moved to town for more fashionable cravings. But here they are, doing what they do best and, crucially for Sicilians, what they love.

Lo Magno Gallery, Modica

Main altar of the Cathedral of San Pietro (Saint Peter) in Modica. Sicily, southern Italy.e55evu

Yes, Modica is all about the chocolate – a relic of three centuries of Spanish rule, where they pinched Aztec chocolate and concentrated it in the honeyed, church-rich town with its striking Hyblaean backdrop. But amid its chocolate cachet and towering, stunningly beautiful churches (see: St. Peter’s pastel ceiling), the Baroque city is a Petri dish of creativity, where a scene of modern art and design in boom is brewing. For a tangible sense of this, head to Galleria Lo Magno, where curations support young, up-and-coming artists and showcase the works of a more established coterie. Works on display include Francesco Balsamo’s etchings and juxtaposed verses, and Rossana Taormina’s exploration of memory through an intriguing mix of photography and embroidery. Even culture snobs pay a visit to Sicily’s oldest chocolate factory, Antica Dolceria Bonajuto, where the odd queue is worth it for delicious bars of ‘cold’ crumbly chocolate and cannoli.

Sergio Fiorentino, Noto

NOTO, SICILY – MAY 19: Panoramic view on May 19, 2019 in Noto in Sicily. (Photo by Santi Visalli/Getty Images)Santi Visalli/Getty Images

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