We'd been told the only place to stay in Syracuse was on the island of Ortygia, the ancient heart of the city. A search on the internet found an apartment - two bedrooms, kitchen/living room and bathroom on the ground floor of an old house in a quiet little side street, so we went ahead and booked, crossing our fingers and hoping it would not turn out to be a dud. It wasn't, in fact it was just what we had hoped for. All mellow old stone and fresh white paint, a domed and frescoed ceiling in the living room and typically Sicilian mosaic stone floors, with room to spread out and to be cool and comfortable. Not that we spent a great deal of time in the apartment - with the old city to explore, its piazzas, squares, waterside walkways, cafes, restaurants and wonderful market all within walking distance, not to mention the Greek theatre, the Roman amphitheatre, sea caves and other points of interest further afield .....
Massimo, the owner, was on hand to greet us with maps and plenty of friendly and helpful suggestions. (and to send a cheating taxi driver on his way with a flea in his ear when we first arrived from the station). He provided us with the number for a most obliging taxi driver, Peppe, whose ready availability meant we had a car and driver whenever we needed him - a much better arrangement than having a car of our own there - parking is at a premium and you'd need to be a born and bred Ortygian to feel confident tackling the island's maze of narrow streets. Not that we needed a car often but with hot days and the long hill up to the Archaeological park and over to the museum and the catacombs saw up make use of Peppe's services on more than one occasion.
The young owners of the apartment, Massimo and Lilla, have done a great job restoring the house, making the most of the original traditional features and setting it up for holiday lets.
Comfortable beds and bedrooms big enough to accommodate luggage as well as beds, wardrobes, chairs and people; sufficient kitchen equipment for preparing holiday meals (in my case, simply setting out cold cuts, cheeses, salads, olives and fruit from the market, but there is a good oven, a microwave, fridge/freezer and pots and cooking utensils for more domestic souls); lots of hot water; a washing machine, iron and ironing board; the BBC on television (an essential for news tragics such as MrL) - we thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would certainly stay there again.
We had a very attractive room with French doors leading to street/courtyard that you will find pictured on their website. This did have the smallest shower that I have seen yet, but the bathroom was overall modern and clean. The building is very old, and I think they did a fantastic job bringing the room up to current expectations. The breakfast on the roof terrace was terrific. They had delicious home-baked breads and tarts as well as yogurt and fruit, coffee, tea, juice. The courtyard was nice and we brought wine and snacks out in the afternoons and met other guests. We had no problems booking with activehotels.com and paid $72.00/night.
the link below will show its location on a map.
TENUTA DI ROCCADIA
c.da Roccadia, 96013
I didn't stay here, but it was such a nice looking place and was in a good location, so I went in and asked for their price and a card. It is along the Lungomare (the beach walk). They told me that the price was $100/night.
I was there! You feel like at home. I had a very nice apartment in this wonderful complex. It is a private house complex. It is directly on the beach and it is very close to all the places you must see in the province of Siracusa.
They have apartments of varous dimention. We were 7 in our party and all was ok.
Beach and landscape very nice.
We stayed in one of 5 or 6 apartments in a 18th Century palazzo, located in the centre of the historical old town of on Ortigia island, Syracusa in Sicily, a few steps away from piazza Duomo and Aretusa Fountain. The apartment building is in Via Salomone, in the neck of the snail. We had the "Prestige" appartment: two sleeping rooms, two bath rooms and a sunny terrace.
The owner, Massimiliano, was waiting for us and gave us very good tips.
The beautifully restored palace has a panoramic lift to the third floor. The apartment is tastefully furnished, renovated in 2006 using local materials (terracotta floor tiles, wooden beams...). My mother is in a wheel chair and the route to the lift is a bit of maze, and this is also the case of the stairs. Our apartment is located at the third floor, a few steps down the elevator, with a sunny terrace to have breakfast or relax.
This self catering accommodation proved an ideal base from which to explore Syracusa. Nearby are stores, cafes and there is the daily market, on the other side of the island. At night the streets were very quite but safe. Suitable for couple, families and business travellers this accommodation offers warm, welcoming and family atmosphere. This is - as always - a perfect alternative to staying in a hotel!
In the centre of the centre. Well renovated; well equipped; quiet. Friendly owner.
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