Cavallo d'Ispica

Useful Information

Location: Via Cava Ispica, 89, 97015 Modica RG.
A18/E45 Catania-Sirakus exit Casello di Rosolini, SP 115 towards Ragusa 1.6 km, turn right towards Masicugno 3.3 km, turn left on SP27 towards Modica. Follow SP27, SP34, SP32 for 8 km, turn right on single lane road to parking lot 100 m.
(36.85338, 14.83699)
Open: APR to OCT Mon-Sat 9-19, Sun 10-19.
NOV to MAR Mon-Sat 9-17, Sun 10-17.
Fee: .
Classification: SubterraneaCave House SubterraneaUnderground Museum SubterraneaFactory
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: D=1 h. Audioguides: English Deutsch - German Français - French
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Cavallo d'Ispica, Via Cava Ispica, 89, 97015 Modica RG, Tel: +39-0932-771048. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
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18th century underground mill constructed.


Cavallo d'Ispica is a water mill where most of the mill is actually underground. It is located on the northern side of the valley of Cava d’Ispica, close to the Parco archeologico di Cava d'Ispica but not part of it. The mill is owned by the same family for four generations, although the mill is actually abandoned and transformed into an underground museum and hotel. The former house of the miller is a cave house, with stable and barn in adjoining caves. Even the wooden waterwheel is inside a cavern. It is a horizontal wheel, called a paddle wheel. The water was collected in the botte, a hollow in the rock which is shaped like a boot, about 11 m high. The diameter becomes smaller to the lower end, and the outflow is only a small tube which directs the water in a thin jet on the blades of the paddle wheel. In other words, this water wheel actually resembles a turbine.

The museum is a local history museum located in the caves and the surroundings with an exhibition of furniture, tools and utensils of daily life. The mill is dedicated to the technology and the tools of a mill. There are a lot of such places in the world, and most of them are not listed on We list this one because it is unique, the whole structure is underground.