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See Mount Etna

Cafe in Syracusa
by Jesse Andrews

Archaeological Park, Syracusa
by Jesse Andrews

Harbor at Syracusa
by Jesse Andrews

Welcome to Siracusa
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 123,322 (2004)
Official site:

Siracusa is testament to art throughout the ages.  It's Greek, Roman and Baroque heritages have combined to make this ancient city a modern wonder to behold. 

Upon entry to the city of Siracusa (either by way of train or highway) however, one might be inclined to have a different opinion. 

Many parts of the city, surrounding the Island of Ortygia are extremely poor and run down.  Don't let this first impression dissuade you from further exploration. There is a lot of beauty in Siracusa.  At the same time however, discovering all of what Siracusa has to offer doesn't have to mean you need to wander around aimlessly.

For all intensive purposes, Siracusa is essentially divided into two distinctive areas:  the Parco Archaeological, on the mainland; and the Island of Ortygia, the ancient city first inhabited by the Greeks, which juts out into the Ionian sea and is connected to the mainland by two small bridges. 

To really enjoy the island of Ortygia and the Archeological Park, you need at least a day for each.  Don't try to rush it, you will only get worn out. 

This is particularly true in summer months when temperatures climb well into the 40C range.  During this excessive heat, it's suggested by locals to keep your explorations limited to either the morning or the evening, for the Sicilian sun is intense and can leave those not accustomed to such heat feeling worse than when they came. 

Exploring Siracusa should be relatively simple for most and it is a tourist friendly city, considering it boasts some of the finest archaeological ruins in all of Europe, drawing English speaking visitors from around the world to appreciate the ancient city. 

The tourist information centre is located (when facing the Temple of Apollo) on Ortygia, to the left in the rectangular building which boasts a cafeteria.  They have a number of resources and helpful individuals working to provide visitors with information.


Region of Sicily

3705′N 1517′E


Catania - 69 km;
Ragusa - 80 km;
Taormina - 118 km;
Enna - 138 km;
Piazza Armerina - 150 km;Agrigento - 213 km;
Cefalu - 229  km;
Palermo -  259 km;
Sciacca - 275 km;
Trapani - 367 km


Tourist Office
Via Maestranza 33
Mon-Sat 8:30AM-2PM; 4:30PM-7PM; Winter hours - Mon-Fri 8:30AM-2PM; 3PM-5:30PM, Sat. 8:30AM-2PM
Tel: 0931-464-255

The Archeological Park
The Island of Ortygia


Spaghetteria do Scogghiu, Via Scina 11- pizzas and pastas galore
Trattoria Archimede - Via Gemmellaro 8 - seafood - reasonable prices
Pescomare - Via Landolina 6 (near Piazza del Duomo) - seafood and pizza!
L'Ancora di Giancarlo Russo, Via Pimo 7 - seafood, local Sicilian dishes
Ristorante Jonico, Riviera Dionisio il Grande - outside town - fantastico but pricey.

The Ear, Syracusa
by Jesse Andrews


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