For 2018 I spent the period of “Ognisanti” (1 – 4 November) in Sicily, thanks to the invitation of the Southeast hotel to stay with them. Before talking to you about the town to visit in the area, I would like to give you some useful tips to better discover this beautiful part of Sicily. We will talk about what to do and see, to which I will add a few words about the hotel that hosted me, clubs and restaurants tried during 4 days in the area (two were recommended by the hotel, and others tested without third-party suggestions).
To get to this part of Sicily, you can fly to two airports: Comiso and Catania. The airport of Comiso is definitely the nearest one, about half an hour’s drive from Ragusa, but it can be inconvenient regarding flights arriving and departing: it’s a small airport (actually born as a military airport), there are not so many flights available. I wanted to get here, for extreme comfort, but for the days of holidays I had (November 1-4) I could not reconcile the outward and return flights on the “right dates”. I suggest you, however, to check if there are flights for the period that interests you because it remains the most convenient airport to arrive in this area of Sicily. I asked about it, and I was told that even if it is small, Comiso airport can rent cars.
The Catania airport is the other most convenient airport to reach the area, about an hour and a half away from Ragusa. This is an international airport, more significant than that of Comiso, and there are obviously more opportunities to find comfortable flights to Sicily.
I was hosted by the Southeast hotel, 10 minutes drive from Comiso (airport and country) and 7/10 minutes from Chiaramonte Gulfi (famous for its production of extra virgin olive oil).
Breakfast (which is, today, the only meal that you can eat at the hotel) offers sweet foods (as brioches), fruit, products for coeliacs and a little part of “salty” products (local pies, cheeses, cold cuts): the amount, of course, varies according to how many guests are there at the time. I found a decidedly new structure (it was opened in 2017) and well kept: spaced and well-organised rooms, to which is added the cleanliness and silence. At the disposal of the users, there are also a swimming pool and a small whirlpool with heated water. The structure has a total of 16 rooms, a large parking lot and the breakfast room has on two sides of the windows overlooking the pool area, and that makes it very bright.
Each room has a French door that allows you the exit or directly to the pool floor or an external walkway that allows you to get to the pool area (my room was of the second type). Its position does not offer the opportunity to take a walk in the evening before going to bed. To this observation I can respond with two “counter-reflections”: the first is that for dinner you would definitely go to eat in town since the structure offers only breakfast as a meal, then a walk you will definitely do once the dinner is over (before returning in the hotel, therefore). The second, however, is that because of its position the Southeast hotel is a good starting point to arrive in a relatively short time the majority of villages to visit nearby (the cities on the south coast are an hour’s drive away). And then, maybe, a swim in the pool during the warm summer evenings, before going to dinner, can become a good idea. Or not?.
Restaurants and clubs
In 4 days I had the opportunity to stop and eat/drink in different places in different cities. In two restaurants, tried for dinner, I always went to the Southeast hotel (which offered me the meal for two days to let me try the two restaurants and products of the area. The restaurants are Habanero and Majore).
It is located in Comiso, about 5 minutes from the airport and about ten minutes from the town. The restaurant is new (at the beginning of November 2018 we were told that they had opened for 6 months), the spaces are large and well-kept, has a vast parking lot and a comfortable outdoor part during the hot season. I found a friendly staff, a good menu (the average price per person is around 30 euros). For Saturday night, booking is required.
Address: Via Caduti di Nassirya 28, 97013 Comiso.
It is located in Chiaramonte Gulfi, in one of the narrow streets of the small historical city centre. We settled in a room on the ground floor of Via Martiri Ungheresi 12, “next door” to the room where there is the “kitchen-hob”. The restaurant, however, has other spaces and rooms, with the bathroom “separated” from the structure where I had dinner. The average dinner price is around 25 euros per person.
Address: Via Martiri Ungheresi 12, 97012 Chiaramonte Gulfi.
Piazza Duomo food & beverage
For 5 euros a glass you can enjoy a good pomegranate juice. They also offer several typical local products, to be eaten for lunch or snack, at average prices.
Address: Salita Duomo 22, Ragusa Ibla.
Website: It seems like they haven’t one. But there is an official Facebook fanpage.
Osteria Tre Colli
I discovered this tavern by chance on my arrival at Scicli, around lunchtime. On the first floor of a small building, overlooking Piazza Italia, you get there via a small staircase (on the right looking at the building): the interior is cute, but if there is a place I suggest you sit on the terrace during a sunny day (the tables are few).
Address Piazza Italia 14, Scicli
This is a hot bar not far from the hotel (5 minutes by car), where I stopped for lunch on the first day of travel. The place is not very big of course, being a bar along a highway, and the environment is the “typical” hot plates, and the prices are obviously very affordable.
Address Contrada Pezze, 97012 Chiaramonte Gulfi RG
Website: I found only a Facebook fan page.
“Main” cities to visit
Those I have visited are Ragusa and Ragusa Ibla, Modica, Scicli and Noto (the farthest from Ragusa). These are just some of the UNESCO heritage sites of this area of Sicily: I would have added to these, with a few more days and more sunny weather, also Caltagirone, Catania, Militello in Val di Catania and Palazzolo Acreide.