Ragusa and Modica are the two chief cities in Sicily’s smallest and sleepiest province, and the centers of a region known as Iblea. The dry, rocky, gentle countryside filled with canyons and grassy knolls is a unique landscape in Sicily. Iblea’s trademark drystone walls divide swaths of land in a manner reminiscent of the high English countryside—but summers are decidedly Sicilian, with dry heat so intense that life grinds to a standstill for several hours each day.
This remote province hums along to its own tune, clinging to local customs, cuisines, and traditions in aloof disregard even of the rest of Sicily. Ragusa, a modern city with a beautiful historic core, is known for some great local red wines and its wonderful cheese—a creamy, doughy, flavorful version of caciocavallo, made by hand every step of the way.