Ispica, Sicily; home to some important prehistoric caves

Photo of Ispica

Visit Ispica

Just a few kilometres inland from the south-eastern corner of Sicily, Ispica is a hill town and also the site of some important prehistoric caves and monuments.

It is the cave systems for which Ispica is best known, and cover an extensive stretch of valley approximately 13 kilometres long. The caves are often interlinked with tunnnels and were occupied at many different stages from the Bronze Age onwards, with later 'additions' including early catacombs and frescoes. One of the most important monuments is 'Sicano castle', also carved into the rock above a naturally defensive cliff.

Like many towns in south-east Sicily, Ispica suffered in the earthquake of 1693 so much of the town architecture dates from shortly afterwards - the beginning of the 18th century.

There are various notable buildings within Ispica itself, including two important religious monuments: the Church of Saint Bartholomew, built in the early 18th century on the site of a Norman church and with a predominantly Baroque style facade; and the Basilica of Santa Maria - also built around 1800 in the Baroque style, with a fine facade and containing some impressive wall paintings.

Elsewhere, you will discover various grand houses as you explore Ispica. Again dating from the first half of the 18th century, these include the Bruno palace, the Favi Palace and the Alfieri Gambuzza palace among others - those built in the second half of the 19th century are in the neo-classical style, changing to Art Nouveau as we enter the 20th century.

There are a selection of fine beaches only a short journey from Ispica.

See also:

Map of Ispica & places nearby

Selected places to visit in or near Ispica, Sardinia