Splendors of Sicily – Siracusa

Siracusa was founded in the 8th century BC and for a time it rivaled Athens as the most important city in the Greek world. It was home to such famous personages as Archimedes, Pindar and Aeschylus. We meet our lovely guide to Siracusa, Italo, on the waterfront just outside our hotel.

Italo, our guide to Siracusa

Italo is quite well assembled, and as you can imagine the Toto Tourists paid rapt attention to his every, um… word! I think I might have more photos of Italo in today’s file than of the classical sites of Siracusa!

We walk along the waterfront before entering Ortigia to see some of the remaining symbols of Bourbon rule.
Italo introduces us to the central square of the island of Ortigia where we spent the night. Notice the cathedral on the right. It was built around an ancient Greek temple.
The large cathedral on Ortigia’s central square was built incorporating the remaining pillars of an ancient Greek temple of Athena.
Ceiling art in a side chapel of Ortigia’s cathedral. The three stained glass windows depict the Last Supper.
The ruins of the Temple of Apollo from the 6th century BC stand among modern buildings on Ortigia.
Dan and Jon at the Temple of Apollo in Ortigia – celebrating over 15 years of collaboration on tours of Italy and neighboring countries.
We wander through the local market on Ortigia with a dazzling array of fresh produce.
The strawberries are plentiful, enormous, and inexpensive (not to mention delicious).
A fish shop offering fresh swordfish.
We continue to the site of the ancient Greek theatre overlooking the port of Siracusa. They are in the process of protecting the stone seats with wood and erecting the sets for the plays that will be produced this summer – two tragedies and one comedy.
After a quick stop for lunch we are on the road to Taormina, excited by our first (fuzzy) views of Mt. Etna!
This is where we will be at home for the next four nights — all our rooms along the line of this balcony overlooking the sea. Heaven!

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