Donnafugata Castle and Park

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)

Donnafugata Castle, 9 miles from Ragusa, is a sumptuous aristocratic residence of the late 1800s, measuring some 3.000 square yards, with a neo-Gothic style facade with two towers.

The first construction works of the castle date back to 1300, but no more specific information is available. It was purchased by Vincenzo Arezzo-La Rocca (former baron of Serri or Serre) in 1648 and turned into a fortified farmhouse. Over time, it was transformed into a neoclassical residence and a neo-Gothic castle, but most of the renovation works were made in the XIX century by Baron Corrado Aresso, an eclectic scholar. After years of neglect and abandonment, it was purchased by the Municipality of Ragusa in 1982, restored and eventually opened to the public.

A similar fate relates to the large park, today considered one of the most beautiful historical gardens in Southern Italy. Shaded in its first section by large specimens of Ficus magnolioides, succulent plants, and cluster pines, it features a circular temple, a coffee house, a stone labyrinth, and some artificial caves; the park is divided into three large homogeneous areas: the orchard-garden, the formal gardens and the informal ones.

Its restoration was devised and directed by Biagio Gruccione and Giacometto Nicastro, in full compliance with the 1981 Florence Charter. Their intervention, based on painstaking research and detailed historical-architectural and botanical documentation, was initially aimed at the preservation of all the existing trees: state-of-the-art cultivation techniques, phytosanitary interventions, the removal of all the dead plants, and the introduction of new specimens were carried out to ensure the best result.

Then, the palm garden was recovered, along with the greenhouse, the labyrinth, the coffee house and the temple: a new irrigation system was installed, while all the paths were restored. Eventually, Lestrade built a wonderful parterre at the beginning of the twentieth century.

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian)


Contrada Donnafugata - 97100 Ragusa(RG)

0932 676500


Altre info

Biglietto intero 6 euro. Bambini e ragazzi 6-18 anni e over 65: 3 euro. Scolaresche: 2 euro a testa.

Tutto l'anno

Da martedi a domenica, ore 9-13 e 14.30-18.30

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