Didem Doğan

Siracusa and the island of Ortigia

I like places that have a historical heritage yet are still lively. Siracusa’s Ortigia island is one of them. Instead of making a day visit stay a couple of days to truly enjoy this place, explore the narrow streets, enjoy the various colours of yellow and pink of the façades of the buildings, walk along the sea side, swim in the Mediterranean. You may spare your days to visit the nearby cities as well like Noto, Modica, Ragusa.

Separated form the main land with two bridges Ortigia island is walking distance to the train station and the archaeological site of Neapolis. The center of the island, the Duomo Square is dominated by the magnificent Cathedral of Siracusa. Built on the site of a Greek altar (5nd century B.C.) by the Romans in the 7th century what we see today is a 17th century Baroque cathedral. As you enter the Piazza it salutes you with the sculptures of Virgin Mary under the snow, the martyr of Santa Lucia looking at you peacefully. Several beautiful buildings stand on the square, one of them is the Palazza del Vermexio, the Municipal House. As you walk to the sea side you will reach the Fonte Aretusa, the fountain with begonvilles and ducks is beautiful and you can start your walk along the seaside from here to the Castle. The stars to the sea will take you to one of the places where you can swim in the Mediterranean. You can circle the island and then reach to the Apollo temple from the Greek period and then to the Archimed Square, named after the scientist, maybe the most famous inhabitants of Siracusa of all times.

I chose one of the renovated boutique building to stay which made my stay even more enjoyable, a room with high ceiling on one of the narrow streets by the Apollo temple. Do not forget to eat the Cannoli del Re (an ice-cream made with Ricotto cheese) in the Duomo Square which was the best I’ve eaten in all Italy.

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