Siracusa, Ortygia + Palazzaolo Acreide | Touring Sicily | Part 4
A bus trip was planned from San Cataldo to Siracusa. What a fabulous idea, to get as many of the friends/family together for a guided tour of Siracusa and Ortygia. Siracusa is best known for its sites with some of the best preserved Greek and Roman remains anywhere. It was really helpful that the guide explained the historical importance of the area and pointed out all sorts of great facts. The Greek Theater was most impressive, I believe it dates back from 5 BC. Each year the theater puts on a Greek Theater Festival, another item added to the bucket list. I can't even imagine how impressive it must be to see a Greek tragedy (or comedy) right there in the actual spot where they were performed thousands of years ago. Truly impressive.
The Ear of Dionysus was another spot not to be missed. This cavernous opening into the limestone rock, the shape of a human ear. How was this built and why? I can't even imagine how something this large was undertaken. Again, truly impressive. There is a a reason this archaeological site has so many visitors - so much history in such a small area. And great fresh squeezed orange juice!
From there the tour went to Ortygia - the island just off of Siracusa. Here, you come across ruins right in the middle of your walk. Cobblestone streets, beautiful shops and great food. My favorite stop was the elegant Piazza Duomo - surrounded by ancient noble palaces, restaurants, churches and of course the Cathedral. This Cathedral has so many stories to tell that it actually helps you understand history through religion. Another impressive spot not to be missed. In fact, my next trip back to Sicily will include a much longer stay in Siracusa, specifically Ortygia.
The group had lunch together at a traditional Sicilian restaurant, everyone seemed to have a smile on their face when they finished!
The bus tour then headed to Palazzaolo Acreide. What a quaint little town. A great place to walk around and explore old buildings, small museums, quiet little streets, local gelato and pastries. Of course there was a beautiful Cathedral in town and a group of elder gentleman chewing the fat as my grandfather would say. A must stop as well.
The tour concluded with the 2 hour bus ride back to San Cataldo. A beautiful day was had by all. Happy we were along for the ride.