The Giardino Ibleo (“Ibleo Garden”) is located in the old part of Ragusa and is the best known and oldest of the four historical gardens of the city. The garden is divided into three parts, constructed in different periods. A couple of churches, a museum and some ruins of buildings destroyed in the big earthquake of 1693 are located within its gates.
Giardino Ibleo Ragusa
Address: Piazza G.B. Odierna – 97100 Ragusa. Phone: +39 0932 652374. Opening times: 10:00 till 22:00 (Saturdays and Sundays from 10:00 till 01:00). Ticket price: . (Note that prices and times may be subject to change.)
History and description
The Giardino Ibleo was constructed at the behest of several local aristocrats. The local population also helped in its construction.
The villa is located 383 meters above sea level and looks out over the valley of the river. It has a surface area of slightly less than 16,000 square meters and a circumference of 600 meters.
The oldest part of the gardens contains the ruins of the San Giorgio Church, the Capuchin Convent and the San Domenico Convent. These buildings all already existed long before the garden was constructed.
Initially, there was no gate around the garden, the central part of which was formed by the Viale delle Colonnine.
In 1907, the garden was closed off and the entrance moved to its present spot. The main lane running through the garden became the Viale delle Palme, named thus because it is lined by 50 pineapple palms.
What to see
The oldest and most interesting part of the Giardino Ibleo stretches from the entrance to the Chiesa dei Cappuccini. In this part, most of the vegetation is of Mediterranean origin. At the entrance you are welcomed by an enormous field elm. The Viale delle Colonnine (lined with Judas Trees, with spectacularly pink flowers in spring time) and the Viale delle Palme are part of this area.
The second part starts at the Capuchin Convent and is more formal. The central part of this area, which is characterized by its geometrically shaped flower beds, is a central knoll with a rotunda.
The third part is known as the Boschetto della Rimembranza. This is a small pine tree forest, which, unlike the rest of the gardens, is rather haphazardly arranged and also contains some more exotic, non-Mediterranean plant species.