The earthquake of 1693, which destroyed utterly the towns and villages of southeastern Sicily, had one positive and lasting effect. Where there were ruins, a new generation of confident architects raised new planned towns in an opulent Baroque style. All were harmonious creations, and in 2001 eight of them were selected by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. Funding has poured into the area, and in recent years there has been an explosion of new hotels and B&Bs. Noto, recently restored to perfection, is the most eagerly promoted by the tourist board, while Ragusa Ibla, a Baroque town built on a medieval plan, has become a destination for the stylish international set, with a handful of bijou B&Bs and a couple of Michelin-starred restaurants. Liveliest of the lot is Modica, a vibrant town famous for the production of chocolate.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

Where to find the best beaches in Italy

From secluded coves to lively seafronts, there are plenty of places to sun worship in Italy. But with an increasing number of hotels charging for access to the …

20 Jul 2017 • Rough Guides Editors insert_drive_file Article
Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Video: the 1 minute guide to Italy

Italy has long been one of Europe's most popular destinations. From the magnificent remnants of ancient Rome to the coolest in contemporary culture, secret beac…

08 Jun 2017 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Why Turin should be your next foodie break

Why Turin should be your next foodie break

Not so long ago, Turin (Torino) – Italy’s great northern powerhouse – was largely ignored by tourists, unfairly dismissed as little more than a giant Fiat…

26 May 2017 • Edward Aves insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month