The Agriblea company between the Modica County and the Val di Noto
Ispica, the ancient Hispicaefundus, is located on a hill facing the Mediterranean sea. It has always been a crossroads of different peoples, cultures and traditions, whose territory, which is part of both the ancient County of Modica and the Val di Noto, has been recognized cultural heritage by UNESCO and includes important archaeological, Baroque and Art Nouveau testimonies.
Its economy is based mainly on agriculture; the most important products of its territory are: the organic sun-dried tomatoes of Agriblea, the IGP di Ispica carrot, the PGI PGI tomatoes, the courgettes, the peppers, the potatoes and the fennel.
Unique environmental places are:
– the natural dunes of the long sandy beach of Santa Maria del Focallo.
– The wild canyon of Cava Ispica, a destination for many British and European travelers since 1800, explored by refined personalities such as Richard Colt Hoare, George Russell, William Henry Smith, Richard Duppa, the Marquis of Ormonde, Edward Lear, John Proby , George Dennis, attentive visitors to the spectacular “Canyon“.
– The Longarini and Bruno quagmires which are important reserves for different types of migratory birds.
– In the city, the imposing Bruno di Belmonte Palace stands out, a liberty style work by the architect Ernesto Basile; today, used as a municipal seat.
In addition, inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, you can admire the frescoes by the artist Olivio Sozzi and outside it the loggia by Vincenzo Sinatra; at the Church of the SS. The stuccos of Palermo Giuseppe Gianforma announced.
Noto, today known as the capital of Sicilian baroque, has very ancient origins 2200-1450 BC.
Along the river Asinaro the famous battle between Athenians and Siracusans took place, which ended with the defeat of the first, marking the defeat of the Athenian expedition in Sicily and the beginning of the decline of Athens, Together with the other two valleys of Sicily, the Val di Noto, had important political, administrative and cultural importance.
The Roman villa of Tellaro, the nature reserve of CavaGrande del Cassibile, is located on its territory.
Following the earthquake of 1693, the city was built on the Meti hill. In the urban construction of the city different personalities intervened, indicated by the documents and the tradition: by the military engineer Carlos de Grunenbergh, to the mathematician Giovanni Battista Landolina.
The current city, as it appears in the eyes of its entranced visitors, is the result of the work of the architects Rosario Gagliardi, Paolo Labisi, Vincenzo Sinatra, Antonio Mazza, the master masons and all the stonemasons, who, during the eighteenth century, realized this exceptional urban environment.
In its narrow streets, numerous restaurants and trattorias offer the delicacies of an ancient and aristocratic cuisine revisited according to the dictates of the chef. Loved by tourists is the typical sweet, of Arab origin, the “biancomangiare” made with almond milk.
“A theater was the village, a proscenium of pink stones, a festival of mirabilia. And how it smelled like jasmine in the evening. I would never finish talking about it, returning to mirror myself in such a tender mirage of distance … “.
This is how Gesualdo Bufalino describes it in Argus the Blind.
Modica, ancient and powerful county, on whose territory a flourishing agriculture develops, thanks to the system of the emphyteusis with which the Count gave his land in use to the peasants.
The county of Modica magically remains firm in the color and black and white images of the photographer Giuseppe Leone, accompanied by the texts of one of the writers who has most grasped the peculiarities of its territory, its landscape, its people, the loved Leonardo Sciascia.
A delicacy of the city is the “Chocolate of Modica” produced according to an ancient Aztec recipe. Particularly popular with tourists are also the “scacce modicane”, the focacce of soft dough finely worked and seasoned with various ingredients; with ricotta and sausage, with tomato and cheese caciocavallo, with dry tomato and spinach.