Present-day Ispica stands on the plateau adjacent to the famous Ispica gully, where the ancient town was located and prospered until the 1693 earthquake. Until 1935 the name of this much civilised little town was Spaccaforno, a term deriving from Ispicae Fundus, a name given to the place since very ancient times. This is not the place to dwell on the value of the archaeological site and the historical and religious remains in the Ispica gully: just think of the fascination exerted on writers and artists over the centuries by the grottoes, the hermitages, the necropolis, the churches and the rich landscape of the gully. Ispica passed through the hands of various noble Sicilian families, and then with the abolition of feudalism, it became a free commune, developing around its historical nucleus, where the most important monuments are. Non-religious architecture in Ispica boasts one of the best art nouveau monuments in Sicily: Palazzo Bruno di Belmonte, which is the Town Hall. Ernesto Basile, who began work on it in 1910, did it. It shows perfect harmony between its massive and imposing structure and the lines of the design, which in the variegated interplay of towers and little loggias, balconies and railings, lighten the construction and confer élan and elegance on the whole building.
Source: Provincia Regionale di Ragusa