diocese of Siracusa

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    • Day 180

      Tag 178.2: Siracusa

      February 13 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Als der Tagesplan endlich stand, machten wir uns abfahrbereit. Die Kinder konnten sich mal wieder schwer trennen, da sie mit Wasser, Sand, Grünzeug und Blumen gerade ein Süppchen gekocht haben.
      Uns führte der Weg weiter in Richtung Süden auf der Autobahn, auf der man gut vorankommt und von der man weiterhin links den Blick aufs Meer, rechts den Blick auf hüglige/bergige Landschaften und Plantagen durchzogen mit Blumen und grün hat. Unser Ziel war „Siracusa“: In der Antike war „Syrakus“ über mehrere Jahrhunderte die größte und mächtigste Polis Siziliens und dessen kulturelles Zentrum. Marcus Tullius Cicero beschrieb sie in seinen Reden gegen Verres als „die größte und schönste aller griechischen Städte“. Der Kern der Altstadt befindet sich auf der 40 ha großen Insel Ortygia. Diese liegt zwischen zwei Naturhäfen und ist nur durch eine enge Durchfahrt vom Festland getrennt.
      In „Siracusa“ angekommen, fanden wir gleich den Parkplatz und machten uns auf den Weg in die Altstadt. Jetzt begleitete uns auch wieder die Sonne durch die schönen Straßen und Gassen der Stadt. Hier war auch mal richtig Leben, ein Teil der Geschäfte und Lokale offen, Menschen auf den Straßen und in den Restaurants und Straßencafés. Die Kinder tobten sich etwas aus und alle hatten ihre Freude an der Besichtigung. Die Nachmittagssonne tauchte zusätzlich alles in ein schönes Licht.
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    • Day 36


      August 4, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 31 °C

      As our friend Bill says "sailing is like making plans in the sand at low tide". Essentially when you are working with an older, slightly temperamental boat and reliant on specific weather conditions it's near impossible to make any firm plans in advance. Throw in Covid and the fact the entire population of Italy seems to take the whole of August off and our original plans were a complete no-go. Luckily my parents had booked accommodation in Syracuse (where we had originally planned to sail round to meet them) with free cancellation so they rebooked a split week between Marina di Ragusa and Syracuse instead.

      It was a brilliant week and a nice mixture of being knowledgeable tour guides of familiar places like Marina di Ragusa and the Roman Villa as well as an opportunity to explore new places too! The luxury and comfort of an air-conditioned hire car was also a welcome relief after last week's scooter!

      On the way to the Roman Villa we stopped off in Scoglitti at a seafood restaurant known for its set menu. However, the menu wasn't particularly descriptive and didn't shed much light onto what to expect, so we decided to go for the antipasti (starter) and secondi (main fish dish) followed by lemon sorbet to finish. It was possibly one of the most delicious seafood meals I've ever eaten but spectacularly filling! After the fourth course had been brought out and already full to bursting I assumed we were just waiting for the dessert so watched with slight panic as the waiter brought out yet another set of knives and forks followed by our main course!

      We also took a day trip to Modica, another of the UNESCO baroque towns in the region, this time famed for its chocolate. If I'm honest I wasn't holding high expectations of the chocolate, as everyone who mentioned it described it as "interesting" or "different", adjectives usually reserved for things you don't want to be outright rude about but can't think of a positive alternative for. But following a tour of the oldest chocolaterier in the town we finally tasted some and I was pleasantly surprised even by the "meat biscuit". Apparently back in the day the Sicilian shepherds would take pasty shaped biscuits filled with a spiced chocolate mix that preserved a chunk of meat on the inside. We also stopped off at a watermill built inside a cave followed by dinner at our favourite restaurant in Ragusa.

      On our final day in Marina di Ragusa we took mum and dad out on the boat, with mum being even more prone to seasickness than I am, we decided not to attempt anything too adventurous, so anchored out just off the beach and then went for a spin outside the harbour once the wind picked up enough to put up the sails. Again, no one was sick, so another successful outing!

      For the second half of their visit we left Odyssee (who thankfully had now been fixed by the electrician!) behind and headed to Syracuse to meet up with Sam's parents Helen and Steve who had just arrived. Syracuse is another Baroque town on the east coast of Sicily with a rich varied history and both a Roman and Greek legacy. We spent the first full day exploring the old town based on Ortigia Island and stocking up at the rather impressive market.

      After a lovely week together mum and dad's time in Sicily came to an end and they flew back to the UK. Sam, Helen, Steve and I decide to venture out into wider Syracuse to explore the Archaeological Park on the outskirts where both the ancient Greek theatre and ancient Roman amphitheatre were located.

      We decided to head back to Marina di Ragusa with Helen and Steve so they could see the boat, but with a big decision still to be made about whether to sail back to Syracuse with them on board or not.
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    • Day 1

      Ortigia Sicily

      September 10, 2023 in Italy ⋅ 🌙 25 °C

      Off to an interesting start.
      No problems with the car in Malta until I board the ferry to leave and it blows a fuse that powers the sat nav and phone charger. Fixed in two minutes so not a problem.
      The car ferry was smooth and comfortable and the drive to Syracuse was a bit bumpy.
      Arriving into Ortigia came as a shock. We were not expecting the sheer volume of people and cars. It took ages to find a place to park and in the end I've left the car in a covered car park full of graffiti and close to the bed of a street sleeper. I had no choice.
      Well if ever a place was overwhelmed by consumerism so its historical and cultural significance is diluted to a point where you find it impossible to enjoy. Ortigia must be the epitome. So much beauty and history surrounded by bars restaurants and thousand of people. Cars parked everywhere. Maybe winter is a better time to visit. Such a shame
      We did find some quiet areas eventually which was nice. If you like Aperol spritz this is the place to visit. It is advertised everywhere. Amazing marketing.
      We arrived as it got dark so most places of interest where closed including the cathedral. The temple of Apollo was surrounded by noisy bars as where must historical sights.
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    • Day 5

      Ancient Siracusa

      March 7, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 11 °C

      Siracusa was founded in the 8th century BCE, and became an important city in the Greek empire that arose in the Mediterranean region before the Romans. They say Siracusa equaled Athens in the 5th century BCE. The city was founded on the island of Ortygia; that is where the UNESCO listed is; and that is where all these pictures were taken.
      The 1st picture looks back to ancient Siracusa fro the outer end of the Castello Maniace that was built at the tip of Ortygia where it just out onto the sea to protect the harbor. The Castello was built also as a royal residence, and the 2nd picture is in the main hall.
      The 3rd picture is of the Piazze del Duomo. The cathedral (Duomo) is to the left (see another post).
      The 4th picture is the facade of a noble palazzo, one of many here. The 5th picture is of a street in the old city. This is what most of ancient Siracusa looks like . A good deal of housing is in courtyards located through gates from the street. The last picture looks into one of these.
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    • Day 23

      Syracuse, Sicily

      May 31, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

      What a wonderful time we had in Syracuse Italy it was a beautiful city. We stayed in Ortiga which is the old town, known for its winding alleys and great restaurants and shops. The city is notable for its rich Greek and Roman history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the pre-eminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world.Read more

    • Day 5

      Monumental Siracusa

      March 7, 2022 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

      There is s lot of history in Siracusa. So it doesn't surprise me in the least that there are lots of monuments here.
      I'll begin with the man who is probably the most famous son of Siracusa: Archimedes. To give you an idea of the breadth of his genius, he is variously consider a mathematician, astronomer, physicist, engineer, inventor and more. The 1st picture is of his monument where he is holding a representation of a convex mirror, reminiscent of the legend where he focused sunlight on invading ships causing them to burn. There are innumerable scientific advances credited to him.
      The 2nd picture is the fountain of Diana where she is protecting the nymph Arethusa from Alpheo who is chasing her. Diana was the protector of Siracusa in Roman times, given her attributes as goddess of hunting, fertility, the moon and more. She is equated with Artemis.
      The 3rd picture is the fountain of Arethusa, the same one in the previous picture. Diana changed Arethusa to water to escape Alpheo. When a fresh water spring was found near the seashore, legend had it that Arethusa had returned to provide water for the local people.
      The 4th picture is the Castello Maniace, the fortress the protects the harbor of Siracusa. (See also the Ancient Siracusa post.)
      The 5th picture is the Temple of Apollo that was built to give thanks and commemorate a victory in battle of the Siracusans over the invading Carthaginians.
      The last picture is the cathedral referenced in the Ancient Siracusa post. The cathedral dates to the 7th century and is built on the site of a Temple of Athena that dates to the 5th century BCE. Some of the columns from the ancient temple were incorporated into the cathedral construction and are visible today.
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    • Day 12

      Isola di Ortigia

      May 25, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☁️ 20 °C

      This morning we left by car with Janet & Sinclair squashed into the back seat! Getting out of Taormina was a little stressful but the drive down to Isola di Ortigia which is part of Syracuse was fine. However, the last bit through the historical centre was one way, very small, narrow roads and quite painful. St Craig Rogers was outstanding and we appreciate his very Italian efforts. Our hotel the Re Federico Boutique Hotel is certainly in a good spot. We set out walking through this baroque town exhibiting all the histories of this area including Greek, Roman, Moors and more. We initially went looking for the daily market and had a nice, noisy lunch amidst all the fresh fish and Sicilians. Afterwards, the Santa Lucia Cathedral, the town square fountain, and various buildings were all amazing. The Cathedral was originally a Greek Temple in the 5th Century BC then later repurposed as a church. All the stages were obvious in the structure and the light shades looked ottoman like and it was a most interesting church to see.Read more

    • Day 178

      Siracusa und zurück ans Meer

      October 16, 2020 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Mit schwerem Herzen verabschiedeten wir uns von der Ätna Region und fuhren weiter südlich nach Siracusa. Nach einem kleinen Stadtspaziergang und einer Stärkung ging es dann wieder ans Meer auf den Camping Sabbiadoro. Ein in Perfektion gefegter Platz, mit herrlichem Sandstrand und kristallklarem Meer. In netter Geselligkeit verbrachten wir hier die anschließenden Tage.Read more

    • Day 3


      February 25, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Po Catanii v Sirakuze, mesto na Unescovem seznamu, kjer sva prispela v popoldanskih urah in po rezervaciji v noro dobrem apartmaju in vljudnih lastnikih, ki so se odzvali v 10 minutah od rezervacije, že imela ključe v rokah. Italijani in angleščini, to pa bodo morali še malo vaditi. Gospodič si je pomagal s pred pripravljenimi osnutki na Google translate in nato samo izbral želeni jezik,...vse smo se dogovorili in po hitrem ogledu stanovanju že krenila proti centru. Sicilija bi lahko bila malo bolj čista, to govoriva že 3 dni. Ampak tu nas presenetijo ko skupina mladih in malo manj mladih ljudi z vrečkami in kleščami v rokah čistijo sosednji park. S Tamaro se pogledava in rečeva, no to pa je dober začetek ogleda mesta, res ponosna na njih nadaljujeva s hojo proti centru in kaj hitro ugotoviva, da so pa kakšno ulico le pozabili očistiti, mogoče pa jutri 😉.
      Center lep, ogromno arhitekture, okoli morje in prš dežja, naju spomni da ni ravno poletje. Kupiva kruh, šampanjec in jajčka, ker v tem apartmaju pa imava kuhinjo, da namesto sladkega zajtrka, le jeva nekaj slanega 🍳.
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    • Day 4


      November 13, 2023 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 22 °C

      Von Catania nach Syrakus. Ein ausgedehnter Spaziergang durch den archäologischen Park und dann weiter nach Ortigia. Eis, akustische Gitarre und ein wunderschöner Platz mit der wirklich schönen Kathedrale. Bilder durcheinander.
      Mittlerweile sind wir in Noto. Bilder folgen, wenn wir auf Erkundungstour gehen.
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