Sicily's southeast is the island at its most seductive. This is the cinematic Sicilia of TV series Inspector Montalbano, a swirl of luminous baroque hill towns, sweeping topaz beaches and olive-laden hillsides luring everyone from French artists to Milanese moguls in search of new beginnings.
The region's coastal protagonist is Syracuse (Siracusa), where Graeco-Roman ruins meet magnificent piazzas, boutique-studded side streets and crystalline waves. To the southwest lies the undulating Val di Noto, its string of late-baroque towns the most beautiful in Sicily. Noto, Modica, Ragusa and Scicli are the fairest of them all, each one a feast of architectural flourishes and gastronomic delights, from artisanal gelato and chocolate to Michelin-star-spangled chefs.
Then there is the region’s countryside, a sun-bleached canvas of sleepy back roads lined with carob trees, rocky ravines pierced with prehistoric tombs, and rugged coastline dotted with crumbling tonnare (tuna fisheries), Mediterranean herbs and precious, migratory birdlife.