Blogs from Siracusa, Sicily, Italy, Europe

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Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa June 14th 2018

The noon bells rang as we marveled at the beauty of the piazza of the Duomo in Siracusa, Sicily. We've strolled along the cobble streets and tiny alley ways this morning and now its time for lunch and we stop at a cafe with a stunning view of the cathedral that is both Norman and Baroque, having been reconstructed due to an earthquake in 1693. The Duomo of Siracusa is the standout site of the town. There is a holy place for Santa Lucia, an early, Christian martyr from Siracusa. Jack feels a wonderful symmetry of our trip to Southern Italy coinciding with Father's Day as his Father was stationed here while in the US Army Air Corps. I feel this is a lovely place to fulfill all of your southern Italian daydreams!... read more
Alley
Siracusa balcony
Duomo

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa June 14th 2018

Yesterday, after a wonderful week in Greece, we arrived in Italy, where we will spend much of the next two weeks. The first stop was a very small city on the “ball of the boot”, called Cortone, Italy. This was a very small city, and for my money, was really not very interesting. We spent about 1 hour in the old town and went back to the boat for a little pool time. It seems there are some interesting ruins outside of town that you could only see on one of the excursions. For sure, we have seen enough interesting ruins. Today we went lower in Italy, arriving at Siracusa, Sicily. I was really looking forward to arriving here because it is ironic that two days before Father’s Day, I arrive in a place my father ... read more
Cortone, Italy
Siracusa, Italy
Siracusa Duomo

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa March 30th 2018

Friday March 30, 2018 - Another full day. I couldn’t sleep in as much as I wanted, but there was no rush since breakfast started at 8am. I chatted with Jeroen a bit and then ate. It was just some bread and sweet things, nothing exciting. Afterwards I packed up and headed out. I rang the bell to tell her I’m leaving the key, but then just left it on the desk after a while. A second later she was there, reminding me I hadn’t paid yet (on Booking.com). So embarrassing. I thought I had paid. She says it always happens. This drive was on the highway and it took about an hour to get to Siracusa. I arrived around 10:15 and had to parallel park on a busy street, but it worked out ok, despite ... read more
Weird church
Inside weird church
Crypt of weird church

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa August 27th 2017

We have had a hectic couple of days so we decide that today we will relax at the nice beach that we drove to on the other side of the bay from Ortigia earlier in the week. We are tired so we sleep in. As we are about to walk out the door we happen to read a notice that was sent to us when we booked the apartment which says that the car park is closed between 10am and 8pm on Sundays. It is Sunday and it is 10.30am. I walk around to the car park in the hope that the attendants overdid the limoncello last night and have now forgotten that it‘s Sunday. They haven't. We Google buses to the village near the beach, but there are none, and Google says it will take ... read more
Castello Maniace
Ortigia waterfront from Castello Maniace
Castello Maniace

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa August 24th 2017

We drove a lot yesterday, so we decide that today we will stay closer to home and do some relaxing. The clouds and rain of the last two days have cleared and it is sunny again. We get the car and set off for a beach area on the opposite side of the bay from Ortigia. This is supposed to be a short ten minute drive, but again we get caught in a traffic jam. This is a result of another road rule here which relates to what to do when you need to pick up or drop off passengers or goods in a street that is only wide enough for one lane of traffic. In these situations it seems that it is mandatory to suddenly come to a complete stop in the very middle of ... read more
Piazza Duomo, Ortigia
On the beach, Siracusa
The beach, Siracusa

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa August 22nd 2017

We wake up late and hungry after the stress of yesterday's travel. We assume that there will be a supermarket nearby, but the Google machine seems to suggest otherwise. It tells us that there are some "Italian grocers" on the island, but we suspect that these are probably not going to sell Corn Flakes. The nearest supermarket seems to be a couple of kilometres away, and it is off the island. We hope that the Google machine is wrong, and that there will be something closer. I set off. It has been raining, and soon it starts raining again. I take shelter under a balcony. I am quickly approached by an African street vendor who wants to sell me an umbrella. A few minutes later I’m approached by another one, and then another, all trying to ... read more
The courtyard garden that we drove through yesterday
Ortigia
Ortigia

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa August 21st 2017

I go down for my last breakfast. The staff have stuck the handle back on the front door of the hotel so it looks much better now. I notice a copy of "The Godfather" on the bookshelf in reception and wonder what the significance of this might be. The hotel dog doesn't remember me from yesterday and tries to bite my arm off as I walk back up the hill. We check out and are driven down to the port. We have really enjoyed our time here and are very sad to be leaving. The ferry to Milazzo, which is our next destination on the north-east tip of Sicily, is running very late. The hire company that we need to pick the car up from in Milazzo closes for a siesta from 1pm to 3pm, so ... read more
View from our apartment, Ortigia
Sunset, Ortigia

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa May 25th 2017

Up early and the washing is on the line by 10:30 am. We can now head off on our day’s outing to Syracuse. We have read about this city and it’s incredible history. Those of us from New Zealand whose history goes back either two hundred years and for others eight hundred years here in Syracuse their history goes back about 2500 years or more. So this visit was on our wish list. The trip will take about fifty-five minutes with the first part of the journey on winding narrow bumpy roads. The second half of the journey is on the autostrada that has toll gates in place but not operational and the road surface is far from ideal. In one part we are diverted onto the left lanes so the road can be repaired. Hopefully ... read more
Siracusa
Siracusa
Siracusa

Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa April 25th 2017

You can do nothing but immerse yourself in ancient history are on the island of Sicily. TIPS ABOUT THE FERRY ..First we had to get ourselves on the overnight ferry from Napoli to Catania. So we had a bit of scouting around during the day and found that the ticket office for our ferry TT LIne was straight down Via Marchese Campodisola from the Piazza Giovanni Bovio. We picked up the the tickets and were told to come back to the gate about 7 pm ... which was great because the ferry left at 9.30 and we didn't want to have too much hanging around all day and in the evening. I am giving this tip as there are not too many signs around and it could be a bit confusing. There are ferries going to ... read more
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Europe » Italy » Sicily » Siracusa July 22nd 2016

We are about half way on our tour through Sicily. Our last stop in Armerina we had to park our car in a very small street, very busy with trough fare traffic. In the morning I was flabbergast to find the car back without a scratch. Quickly the luggage back in the boot and of we went. On the way to Siracusa. The roads were very bad. Lots of pot holes and broken up shoulders. Very heavy loaded trucks that stopped us from making progress. We stopped at a very big service station that even had an automatic car wash. Well if you could have seen our car, unbelievable. Full of pigeon shit when we parked in this small street. They should tell those birds to leave tourist cars alone. Anyway the car wash cleaned most ... read more
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