Siracusa. Like I needed another reason to love Sicily!
The drive from Catania to Siracusa takes about an hour.
Our driver picks us up in a Mercedes – but this isn’t the more affluent north Italy. This is the south. This car seems a little worse for wear with paint strewn on its side view mirrors and seats you just sink into.
Off the freeway the number of potholes increase – the financial crisis which Italy has been now suffering for years seems that little more pronounced here.
As we approach the centre of Siracusa and the island of Ortigia, Vespas zoom by with kids hanging off the back without T-shirts let alone helmets.
I see the dome of the cathedral in the distance, I see the water.
I think summer. I think this is Sicily. I think.. I’m back.
I have been spending my italian summers in this region each year for the last seven years or so. I can’t get enough of it.
This time, we spent 4 days in Ortigia – a small island which is the historical centre of Siracusa and connected to mainland Sicily by 3 bridges.
Put simply, Ortigia is just beautiful. Historically it has been penned the most significant ancient Greek city.
Designated down time meant days at the beach, delicious dinners and exploring the town by night. It was just perfect.
See what we got up to with these snapshots:
Santuario della Madonna della Lacrime: so strange to see such a modern structure among so much history. “The Shrine of Our Lady of Tears”, was built in 1959 in honour of a plaster effigy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary which teared.
View of Ortigia by night from our balcony at Hotel Des Estrangers & Spa
Delicious meal at Don Camillo featuring the smallest baguette I’ve ever seen!
Potato purée with baccalà (salt cod); pasta with local pistachio & guanciale (pork cheek); & Sicilian cassata
Like I mentioned, Sicily is very high up the list of my favourite regions in Italy. The beaches, the history, the cities, the vibe. Oh and the food!
Each time I return, I am reminded of why I love it and moreso, I start planning my next installment.
Signing off from Melbourne (but back in Trastevere very soon!)