Nestled like a gem between the hills of Trinacria and Modica is a noble and populous city, leader of the ancient and of the very expansive county whose roots seem to plunge in a remote area.
What makes it so unique and charming is its baroque style, predominant in the urban design and in the historic centre; the presence of the picturesque walkways and streets, rich in old workshops, little cottages and rich palaces. It is today one of the most fascinating cities of Val di Noto.
The scents of the culinary traditions are still inherent in it.
Renowned for the rich and grainy chocolate of Modica, still produced according to the Aztec tradition handed down by the Spanish.
The celebrations of Saint George, co-patron of the city of Modica (Ragusa) along with Saint Peter, are held at the week-end after April 23rd coincide with the so-called “Sangiorgiani” with the image of the saint who is traditionally carried on the shoulders, along the city streets, in a festive atmosphere.
The “Sangluggiari”, bitter enemies of the “Sampittrari” due to the dispute for the title of patron between the two saints (Saint George and Saint Peter), carry on their shoulders the simulacrum of the venerable along the city streets. On Sunday afternoon, the simulacrum is greeted by gusts of garlands and by many fireworks, while the procession flows along the streets of the upper and the lower town. The particular element is the gait of the Saint, who walks at a fast pace, sometimes running, in order to emulate the gallop of a horse. The way of the Saint is interrupted by some stops (fimmati) to allow the bearers to take refreshment. Traditionally, they were given wine and boiled eggs. Now, there is food galore. Until 20 years ago there was the traditional stop at “donna Natalizia” who shot a series of muskets for the occasion. Late in the evening, after the final fireworks, there is the return of Saint George, the image is brought back to the church and it is carried around the aisles more than once (I gira); only after the bearers are tired do they place the simulacrum into the transept.
In the evening, on June 29th, the traditional appearance of the Saint is enlightened by thousands of guiding lights, to underline the parade of the procession of the group of statues of Saint Peter. The Paralytic parading through the streets of the historic centre of the city and the mightiness of the simulacrum require a dedication from the faithfuls.
“The traditional “Fair of Saint Peter”. The celebration of Saint Peter is synonymous with stands during the sweltering last three days of the month; the traditional stands “invade” the historic centre of the city, attracting tourists as well as the people coming from the nearby centres or from the rural areas. If you look at “viale medaglie d'oro” from above, every year you'll witness to a real overflow of people, passing through the stands set on the sides of the street. Their lights, flavours and unmistakable scents attract hundreds and hundreds of visitors.