The Archaeological Park of Cava d'Ispica is located in the northern part of the valley which is extended among large and impressive gorges for about 14km. The monumental archaeological evidences which are currently visible have been found thanks to the excavations in the rock and they can be ascribed to three periods: the prehistoric period, the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages.
Evidences of the Ancient Bronze Age (the Castelluccio age which dates back to 2200- 1450 BC) are a number of settlements scattered along the valley, with oven tombs necropolis. Among them, there is the necropolis of Baravitalla, located in the northern part of the quarry, with a monumental well preserved tomb, with a façade decorated with ten pillars. In the above plain, the remains of the village have been found, together with the original archaeological finds (e.g. plates with spheres) and numerous terracotta ornaments.
Even during the Late Antiquity, the valley featured an impressive necropolis with catacombs and small burial tombs. Among them, there is the Larderia catacomb, which is divided into three aisles and contains more than 400 burial graves, dating back to the 4th and 5th century A.D. Other Christian evidences can be found in the other burial area called “Camposanto caves”.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.