Until 50 years ago, donkeys were an important presence in the countryside, transporting heavy loads, powering millstones and dragging plows. With mechanization, the use of donkeys gradually declined, pushing some breeds to the brink of extinction.
The Ragusano is one such breed. It has a dark reddish-brown coat with a light stomach, a gray muzzle with smooth fur and a black mane and tail. The head is fairly small, with a straight profile. The forehead is wide and flat, the eyes are large and circled with white fur, and it has straight, medium-long ears, a wide rump and strong limbs. Around a thousand animals still remain.
The milk is available all year, but it only can be purchased directly from the producers. The milk is also used in the production of cosmetics.