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Just off the coast of Italy, the pretty town of Comiso boats some of Sicily’s finest sandy beaches and a whole host of cultural hotspots to discover. From the golden sandy stretches of Marina di Ragusa to the quiet coves of Comiso itself, you won’t be hard pushed to find a sunny spot to set your towel down. Most of the beaches around Ragusa have sunbeds, showers, cafes and enough gelato to keep the kids happy and cool. If it’s history you’re after, Comiso is a fantastic choice with more than five famous ancient churches and a castle to boot. Don’t miss a trip to the beautiful Naselli Castle or the lively Santa Maria delle Grazie church where the town’s festival takes place in September.
The town has a distinctly baroque feel with winding alleyways and elegant church spires reaching into the clear blue skies. Many of these buildings were rebuilt in the 17th and 18th centuries after Italy’s largest ever earthquake destroyed a huge portion of Sicily, and much of Italy and Malta too. Because of this, many of the churches and public buildings have an eccentric mix of styles which lend themselves perfectly to a spot of photography.
More about Comiso/Sicily
The food in Sicily is not to be forgotten and embraces the traditional Italian tastes with plenty of local fruit and vegetables including the famous Sicilian lemon. To really get a feel for Comiso’s fare, dine at one of the town’s friendly trattorias or take a trip to nearby Marina di Ragusa for seafood and delicious local wines.
Comiso is one of Sicily’s most fertile regions and you’ll find plenty of fresh produce to try as well as locally made furniture and crafts to admire. If you want to buy some of Sicily’s finest souvenirs head to nearby Vittoria, one of the island’s main market towns, where you’ll find some fantastic things to take home. Speaking of home, it’s unlikely you’ll want to return there after a trip to sunny Comiso! This picturesque seaside town is still relatively unknown, so get packing and head down there before everyone catches onto its brilliance.
Top five things to do in Comiso
Unwind in the luxury of ancient hot springs
The hot springs of Comiso were built over 2,000 years ago and still have the beautiful remnants of original Roman mosaics. Of course, you’ll be more interested in the healing properties, so make sure to take an afternoon out to relax in the warm waters of Comiso’s number one attraction.
Wander the winding alleyways of Comiso town
While only home to some 30,000 people, Comiso is quite the attraction itself. The pretty baroque style is due to the almost complete rebuild after the 17th century earthquake, and there are plenty of fascinating buildings to photograph including the Municipal Library and the Town Hall in the Piazza.
Try some of Sicily’s finest local fare
Dine in one of the local ristorantes or trattorias and try one of Sicily’s famous dishes. From the mouth-watering “mustata” made with local orange peel, almonds and cloves, to the traditional “cavati", a gourmet dish of pasta flour and water. You certainly won’t be hungry in this part of Italy.
Take a day trip to Marina di Ragusa
This little village lies just a 20-minute drive from Comiso airport and boasts some of the best beaches in southern Sicily. Relax on the golden sands with a scoop or two of Italy’s famous gelato, or take a stroll along the promenade and discover some quieter hidden bays perfect for paddling.
Visit Comiso’s famous Mother Church
The Mother Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie dates back to the 15th century and boasts a stunning shrine to the Virgin Mary. If you’re planning on visiting Sicily in September, the annual festival takes place outside the church with music, dancing and celebrations.
10 facts about Comiso
Home to more than five ancient churches, Comiso is quite the cultural hotspot. Try a tour of them all and don’t forget to bring your camera.
Comiso’s main exports are wine and vegetables, smithery, marble work and cabinet making. You’ll find plenty of souvenir worthy pieces in the local markets.
In 1693, Italy’s largest earthquake destroyed 70 towns and much of Sicily. Comiso was rebuilt to the baroque style of the time, giving it a fascinating look.
Nearby Ragusa Ibla is home to an impressive 14 Unesco World Heritage buildings, all located in an area less than one square kilometre.
Naselli Castle should be high on your list. Its mix of architecture styles range from a 14th century tower to Roman busts and 11th century Byzantine frescoes.
Near the former NATO base is a Buddhist “stupa” or meditation shrine. Check it out if you need a little holiday quiet time.
The Church of the Capuchins in the south of Comiso contains the mummified remains of local noble families - perhaps not one for the squeamish!
Comiso has been home to humans since the Neolithic age and traces of settlements have survived thousands of years in the rural countryside.
The Santa Maria delle Grazie church was built in the 15th century but only the elaborate pillars and pointed arches still remain of the original design.
The civic museum at the Old Fish Market in the Piazza delle Erbe contains thousands of fossils, sea shells and minerals from all over Sicily.