• SS 194 km 72, 97010 Giarratana (RG)
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8 Nov

Cava della Misericordia (Cave of Mercy)

What sets the area surrounding the Province of Ragusa apart, making it unique and not to be found elsewhere, undoubtedly involves the environmental and natural landscapes that the place offers us. For lovers of nature and long walks, the Cava della Misericordia certainly represents an experience that is not to be missed. This is not just because the Cava is still, even today, a place to be discovered by the inhabitants of the territory themselves, but also because it is only in these types of places that one can experience and learn about the environmental characteristics of the Ibleo area. Cava della Misericordia is located halfway between Ragusa and Giarratana and, to be precise, to reach it one must take the state road or SS for Chiaramonte Gulfi and at the km 3 point there’s the turn off, where one goes down the paved road. Immediately upon setting out on the path you can admire the florid vegetation and the limestone rocks that steeply descend to the valley. As you go along the path you become aware that man occupied this corner of the earth very early on, leaving traces of constructions. It is possible to admire, in fact, the Church of St. Elia, dedicated to the saint invoked by farmers in periods of drought, in addition to an Ibleo cemetery of Byzantine origins, which has as many as three thousand tombs, some earthen and some excavated in the rock. Continuing further, you will end up in what is called “Valle dei Mulini” [Valley of the Mills], which preserves ruins of old mills and houses. The water of the San Leonardo River once flowed in the area, but today it is nearly absent because the water was diverted to supply Ibla. After about 5 km, in the central part of the Cava, we arrive at the ancient “Romitorio Nostra Signora della Misericordia,” [Hermitage of Our Lady of Mercy], an ancient Benedictine monastery. It is possible to walk the Cava della Misericordia by hiking along the path or, for the more adventurous, by mountain bike up to Ibla.