Like Modica, Scicli has developed at the confluence of two rivers. However the larger part of the town is flat, allowing big squares and piazze which give a feeling of openness that is lacking in other Val di Noto towns. The Cave of San Bartolomeo and Santa Maria la Nova are very characteristic, and familiar from the Inspector Montalbano series, but the jewel of Scicli is Via Mormina Penna, one of the most beautiful streets in Sicily.
Scicli also still has the rivers open, which now run in canals through the town. It is only 5km from the sea, and has numerous seaside locations of which Donnalucata and Sampieri are old fishing villages which have been enlarged over the last 50 years or so. The beaches are sandy and ideal for children. Cava d’Aliga is often underrated, and has a great beach, but the currents can be unpredictable.
Scicli is about half the size of Modica, and consequently has a more ‘sleepy’ feel to it, than the bustle of Modica, even though it is only 8km distant. Tourism and agriculture are the big movers of the local economy.
Like Modica, the town was rebuilt after the 1693 earthquake, and the modern part of town built over the last 40 years is to the south, and is pretty ugly. You pass through it to get to the seaside but otherwise it’s easily avoided.