Admittedly, a big chunk of our trip in Sicily was centered around food. Modica, a baroque gem in South-East Sicily, didn’t fail to deliver to our cravings either. Out of the baroque triplets (Modica, Ragusa and Noto), the memory of Modica sticks the strongest. All we did and devoured was divine. We jotted down our recommendations for your day trip to Modica.
Modica is split in two: Modica Bassa down the valley and Modica Alta higher up. Modica Bassa is where the hustle and bustle is at, centered around avenue Corso Umberto I. The place is perfectly suited for your evening passeggiatatoo, offering plenty of restaurants and bars. Check for the weekly market to score freshly baked cornetti.
Make your way up the 250-step staircase to Duomo di San Giorgio. Take in the spectacular view of Modica Bassa at the front of the duomo. Then, wander in the labyrinth of medieval alleyways of Modica Alta at the back. It’s a 10-minute walk to Rosticceria Antichi Sapori.
Italy’s rosticceria are takeaway joints that prepare and sell a variety of dishes. Pizza, focaccia and arancini are often on the menu. They offer great value for money.
Rosticceria Antichi Sapori sells stuffed focaccia in a variety of flavours. Think cheese, potatoes and herbs, spinach, … with plenty of vegetarian options to choose from. Our personal favourite: tomato and eggplant. One costs 1,5 EUR and is plenty, but you will be back for seconds.
Modica is famous for its chocolate, which is very different from the one we are used to. It’s crafted at low temperature in accordance with an old Aztec recipe. As a result, the sugar crystals in the chocolate are clearly visible and give it its unique, grainy structure. Traditionally only made from cocoa beans and cane sugar, you can find it with a range of adventurous flavours added.
The best place to try Modica’s chocolate is Sabadi, located right next to Duomo di San Giorgio. It has been awarded as the best for 7 consecutive years. Apart from the boutique they also have a chocolate ageing cellar, in which they expose cocoa to ingredients like tobacco and tea until it spontaneously absorbs its surrounding aromatic notes over time. The boutique is beautiful and as a bonus they allow free sampling. Combine it with a stroll in the historic centre of Modica Alta.
No better place to drink and dine in Modica than Il Bar Sabadi. The stunning garden is located right next to the duomo and offers relaxed seating. With its extraordinary views, string lights and jazzy tunes the whole place boasts romance. As is true for their chocolate, they only choose the best ingredients to work with. They serve wood-fired pizza, taglieri and toast. Lucas and I shared a platter of local cheeses. Finish the meal off with a chocolate tasting, pick a glass or bottle from the extensive list of natural wines and you’re settled for the night.
Not ready to settle just yet? Walk to viewpoint Pizzo Belvedere to see Modica Bassa and Alta light up by night.