All posts tagged: Syracuse

Syracuse, Sicily – Day 3

After mucking around in Ortigia for two days, we finally got us a sim card and a rental car. We were all set for a road trip. Since we needed to get use to drive on the right side of the road, we decided to go to some places not too far away. First stop was the Archaeological Park of the Neapolis. Both Syracuse Greek Theatre and Roman amphitheatre are part of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Syracuse Greek Theatre was built in the 5th century BC. It is one of the largest in the world with nearly 140m diameter. All the seats were cut out from rocks. The theatre overlooks Syracuse, so the view is spectacular. Roman amphitheatre is a small disappointment for me. I guess it just looked very abandoned. The amphitheatre was primarily used for Gladiator contests and fights. However, seeing both sites in the same park was a bonus. We got to see how different the theatres were built for different purpose. Another interesting place in the park is a ear shaped huge cave called “Ear …

Syracuse, Sicily – Day 2

After a good night sleep, we were ready to go and explore. Syracuse has plenty to offer, places to see, things to do, shops to shop, and yummy food to eat. Since we wanted to be based in Syracuse when we were in Sicily, it’s always a good idea to get familiar with the place.  🙂 After breakfast, we walked to Castello Maniace which was built in the 13th century by Frederick II. It is at the far end of the Ortygia. The castle was a royal residence initially.  After Frederick II, it was used as a prison for half century. Later on, it was turned to be a fortress and restructured for military use to defend the harbour. The castle was named after General George Maniakes who conquered Sicily from Arabs in 1038.  Unfortunately, some parts of the castle were under construction during our visit. We couldn’t see the whole thing. However, we still can see its marble portal entrance and baroque style architecture, and the beautiful view from the castle. If you stay at Syracuse, …

Syracuse, Sicily – Day 1

Finally, I have to talk about Syracuse. Somehow it holds such a special place in my heart. Maybe I had had so many different versions of it in my imaginary world. Maybe I had been looking forward to it for too long …We arrived in Syracuse, Sicily, in an afternoon. The taxi driver dropped us off at the back of the building where we rented our apartment. “Here we are.” I told myself. “Finally!” The apartment we booked was in Ortigia. It was right at the water front with a tiny little balcony. The little balcony was just big enough for two chairs. Still, we appreciated it so much that we enjoyed every sunset there with a glass of Sicily wine. It was such a magical place. The famous Fonte Aretusa was very close to our apartment. The myth behind it is beautiful Nymph Arethusa was trying to escape from the love of Alpheus. Goddess Diana turned her into a spring. Then, Alpheus transformed himself into t a river to join together with the spring forever with Arethusa. The …