Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pubs and bars in Marina di Ragusa

If you come to Ragusa in summertime, you will probably find high temperatures and a desserted city. That's because everybody is cooling off in Marina di Ragusa (Ragusa's seaside). To see map click here. Here are some pubs in Marina, where you can have a drink while watching the sun go down on the sea.

La Raja, Plaja Grande beach

Decanter great cocktails served with a smile, while listening to cool music. What else can you ask for? Well… from 7 pm to 9 pm it’s aperitivo time. This is the Italian version of a pre-dinner drink and a snack, but it’s brought to very generous proportions at the Decanter. Basically you order an aperitivo, choose your drink, pick up a plate and taste some delicious hors d'euvres from the buffet. I personally like their Bellini, done with real peaches. Two locations for this lovely pub: one in upper Ragusa at Piazza Cappuccini 22. Tel: +39 338 430 4092. Also by the sea on the pedestrian boardwalk at Marina di Ragusa.

Charleston not far from the Decanter, and about 50 yards from the main plaza in Marina di Ragusa, the Charleston has modern décor, orange-blue colored walls and sea view. Not an enormous variety of cocktails here but enough if you’re not too picky. It has tables and booths and usually a nice music selection. It’s one of the few pubs in Marina di Ragusa that opens all year round.

Tre Per Caso: By the sea in the pedestrian boardwalk at Marina di Ragusa right between the Decanter and Quattro Quarti. This two story pub is open all year round and has a nice sea-view terrace (closed in winter). They have a good variety of cocktails, and for those ones missing on the menu... they willingly prepared to my specifications a spicy margarita with tabasco sauce.

Anno Zero towards the end of the lungomare A. Doria lays this nice pub with outdoor tables. Loud music, good vibe and ok cocktails. Inside you'll find cool pictures hanging on the yellow walls and some wooden booths on your right hand side. I usually like this place because it's not as packed as the pubs closer to the main square.

Victoria Pub this place is almost hidden… it took me one year to realize it even existed even if I walked by dozens of times! Lungomare A.Doria. It will be on your left hand side walking from the main square, and you have to enter some sort of gallery right next door to a white building with boutiques. It has a more traditional feel with the wooden bar and pool tables on the back. They also make pizzas. Lungomare A. Doria 20 - Tel: +39 338-491-0241

Quattro Quarti Very nice modern all-white décor. Sloooow service, regular food. Packed on summer nights with all the see and be seen crowd. Not really my kind of place, but good enough for people watching. By the sea in the pedestrian boardwalk at Marina di Ragusa steps away from the Decanter.

La Dolce Vita Caffè this cafè has outdoor sitting and it becomes a disco on weekends, although I wasn't too excited about the music selection. You'l find it towards the end of the lungomare A. Doria.

Chalets on the beach:
To drink by the sea, you have another alternative… do as the locals and head to one of the beach huts (chalets nella spiaggia). These are wood constructions with just a floor and a roof (if any) right on the sand. So you can drink al fresco right on the beach, and maybe swim a little if you dare. Some popular “chalets” are:

La Raja (The Sting Ray): This year’s newcomer is located in Plaja Grande. The best description of this chalet would be a lounge bar on the beach. Candles, drapes, chandeliers, a lot of white and a great location by the sea, make this the perfect spot for a relaxed evening watching the sunset while sipping cocktails. Only bar in Ragusa where they serve cosmopolitan, lemon drop or apple martini. The mojitos and fruit cocktails are exellent too, I enjoyed the watermelon coktail even if I'm not a big fan of watermelon.
Opened everyday, all day on summertime.
Driving from Marina di Ragusa towards Donnalucata you’ll see a sign on your right hand side. Get in the trail and drive until you see a ship on the sand, That’s the entrance.
Plaja Grande Beach
Tel: +39 333-7449990

The Margarita, located in the lungomare A. Doria, in Marina di Ragusa, a few blocks from the square. La Ola, always in the lungomare A. Doria (packed on weekends); the Pata Pata (lungomare in Sampieri), and the Tsunami, (Punta Braccetto, about 2 km after Punta Secca, on the way to the beach). By driving around and asking you can find many more, and that can be part of the fun.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


There are some awesome beaches in Sicily, some of them not really famous but still worth a visit from you sun lovers...

Shoal of Marinello, Messina

Donnalucata used to be a fishermen’s village, as a matter of fact you can still enjoy their lovely fish market (opened all day during the summer and mornings only year-round). The coastline offers a wide extension of really nice sandy beaches. Located 8 km from Scicli.

Calamosche inside Vendicari
Vendicari is an oasis and natural reserve between Noto and Pachino, you’ll need to make a long walk to reach the Calamosche beach, but it’s really worth it. You’ll find tranquil, crystal-clear water in this beautiful little bay. So far this is the only beach in Sicily where I’ve seen topless sunbathing.
*There are no facilities/amenities near this beach so pack everything in.

Beautiful beach near Ispica’s Santa Maria del Focallo, with sea caves and large rocks on the sea (see picture). There is a marsh nearby (Pantano della Marza) where you can do some birdwatching and see flamingos.
*No facilities/amenities near this beach

Laghetti di Marinello in Oliveri
This natural reserve in the province of Messina, near the town of Tindari, has some patches of typical Mediterranean vegetation, and a long surface of cliffs overlooking the sea. On the base of the hills of Capo Tindari, there are some small salt lakes and the beautiful shoal of Marinello, an ideal place for sunbathing or swimming. This is a pebble beach, so you might want to use your flip flops to reach the water.
*No facilities/amenities near this beach. This is a pebbled beach.

Capo d’Orlando
A popular beach town in Sicily, Messina's Capo d’Orlando offers nice spots for swimming and lovely beaches (both pebbled and sandy).
By now you should know that finding ruins in Sicily is quite easy, and Capo d’Orlando is no exeption, after swimming, you can see the 14th century Capo d'Orlando castle’s ruins and visit the Torre del Trappeto.

Nearby, in the town of San Gregorio, the local fishermen have organized (eco-friendly) tourist fishing, so you can sleep in one of the small fishermen’s houses and get aboard an authentic fishing boat to experience some of the secrets and traditions of this profession.