The castle of Donnafugata: to the discovery of a film worthy castle
Perfect settings that bring “The Leopard” to mind: the Castle of Donnafugata is a film worthy manor, which has been the backdrop to some episodes of “Inspector Montalbano”. In the large garden of this wonder, you can get literally lost in a masonry maze!
This route is short and easily walkable with children. Its final portion is truly fabulous. In fact, you can admire one of the finest examples of eighteenth to nineteenth century architecture: a magnificent cultural “detour” in your beautiful excursion dedicated to nature.
To reach the Castle of Donnafugata, you travel along a flat, dirty and stroller-accessible road. The trail runs through the enchanting landscape typical of the Ragusa area, among almond and olive trees protected by the Hyblaean Walls, distinctive dry stone walls whose uniqueness has earned them a place on UNESCO’s List of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
About half-way from the Castle, you will encounter the Donnafugata hypogeum (underground), one of the most evocative catacomb structures of the Ragusa province: it is little known simply because its natural charm is overshadowed by the majestic beauty of the nearby Castle. But it is definitely worth a visit to admire its particular layout.
After a 20 minute walk from the hypogeum, the Castle suddenly appears atop the hill, in all its greatness. At first glance, its crenellated edges and impressive lateral towers will make you think that this Castle was built for defensive purposes. In reality, it was a 122-room country manor house surrounded by 8 hectares of parkland. The huge variety of plant species in this area allowed the creation of three gardens: English, French and Mediterranean.
Do not miss the garden’s most precious gem – the Ragusa white stone labyrinth that Baron Corrado Arezza wanted built here to delight and entertain his guests. And now that you are the guest, what are you waiting for?
Will you find the right way out or will you get lost in the Donnafugata maze?
Difficulty level: easy
Average time: 40 minutes, one way (excluding the time for visits to the Hypogeum and the Castle)
Length: 2,5 Km (one way)
Elevation gain: negligible
Trek stroller: yes
Departure point on foot: Hotel Casato Licitra, Ragusa
All the details and curiosities about this itinerary can be found in single waypoints through a dedicated APP.