Siracusa Things to Do

  • Tempio di Apollo
    Tempio di Apollo
    by croisbeauty
  • Porte Grande Siracusa/Ortigia Boat Trip
    Porte Grande Siracusa/Ortigia Boat Trip
    by rosata
  • Vests, vests and more vests
    Vests, vests and more vests
    by rosata

Most Recent Things to Do in Siracusa

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    Ortigia at The Rocks - Swim / Paddle / Sunbathe

    by rosata Updated Jun 25, 2014

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    Locals and holidaymakers alike sunbathe on the rocks at this location on Ortigia.

    Forte Vigliena, the official location name, acquires an additional bathing platform on the edge of the rocks during the summer season months.

    Swimming is possible in the sea but if there is any hint of ripples be sure that you can climb easily back onto the rocks from the water. The rocks are extremely sharp!

    This is available all year round and there is no charge.

    There is a story behind the access to this facility. About ten years ago or more there was a more rickety access to the rocks which was sequestered by the Comune di Siracusa. The residents of Ortigia petitioned and petitioned until the Comune relented and provided the new metal stairs and bridge, I think it was about five years ago but as time flies I may be wrong!

    The fifth and last photograph is of the only other 'beach' on Ortigia which is rather minute hence the need for a location to swim.

    In the summer temporary beach areas are provided along the lungomare with access by stairs .

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • School Holidays
    • Beaches

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    Visit 'The Aretusa Acquapark di Siracusa'

    by rosata Updated Jun 8, 2014

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    A popular and fun day out for all ages with lots of water activities including

    Aquadance / Children's area / Big River / Black Cannon / Slow River / Lagoon for Adults / Multipista (many tracks) / waterfall oasis

    The opening weekend for 2014 is 21-22 June and the closing date is 7 September 2014.

    Last year the open dates were 15 June 2013 - 1 September 2013 and they are fairly similar every year.

    See the website for ticket prices :

    http://www.aretusapark.it/prezzi-e-promozioni/costo-biglietti.html

    Cash desk opens at 09:00
    Acquapark open from 09:30 - 18:30 (cannot be used from 13:00 - 14:00 for daily maintenance)

    €2 parking charge for cars, scooters, motorbikes
    €5 parking charge for motorhomes
    €2 charge for use of sunbed
    €1.50 to use a locker to store belongings

    Related to:
    • Water Sports
    • School Holidays
    • Family Travel

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    Ortigia Boat Trips

    by rosata Updated May 22, 2014

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    On the Ponte Umbertino
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    This is something I have not done for years and therefore cannot recommend one boat over another as there are variations to the trips. Some boats go east, some west, some to view Plemmirio, some tour the Porto Grande, some can be hired for parties, some of the smaller vessels stop for passengers to take a swim in the Ionian Sea after visiting the sea caves, some sail the Fiume Ciane/River Ciane to the place where the papyrus plants grow.

    One consideration may be if the boat has a shelter from the wind or the sun. In any case do make sure to bring sun protection lotion, a hat that won't blow away and clothes for all eventualities.

    The possibilities are endless with varying prices. I think the going rate should be around €15 for a trip around the Porte Grande. If you are extremely lucky, you may be followed by a pod of dolphins as happened when I once made the trip on the larger vessel (October).

    Related to:
    • Sailing and Boating
    • Family Travel
    • Photography

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    Catacomba di San Giovanni & Cripta di San Marziano

    by rosata Updated May 18, 2014

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    Rose Window, Chiesa di San Giovanni, Siracusa
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    The origins of this catacomb date back to the fourth century AD when the construction began over the remains of an ancient Greek aquaduct. This important section of the Christian history of Siracusa is part of an elaborate catacomb complex which is second only to Rome.

    The church was not rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 and has been deteriorating ever since then. It was one of the only buildings left standing in that part of Siracusa after the earthquake.

    Open every day of the week
    Opening times:
    10:00 - 13:00 and 14:30 - 17:30

    Guided tours only and these are provided by Kairos

    You can take photographs of the outside of the church ruins and the beautiful rose window from inside the church ruins before descending to the catacombs. No photography is allowed past the entrance to the catacombs.

    Admission Prices 2013:

    €8 Full Price
    €5 Reduced Price for over 65's

    Often the Tourist Information Office on Via Roma have Reduced Rate leaflets to pick up

    There is a garden and children's play area in the small square.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Museum Visits

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    Ten Pin Bowling in Siracusa

    by rosata Updated Apr 24, 2014

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    Below is a link to the website which is written in Italian - if you need any help translating please ask me.

    There is a bar and restaurant and by all accounts is a popular place to visit for a certain age group.

    The prices are on the website in the 'Il Bowling' column.
    There are various 'Promozioni' from time to time in that column.

    Open every day from 16:00 - 01:00
    Sundays and Holiday from 15:00 - 01:00

    Forgot to take a photo but will do soon!

    Related to:
    • School Holidays
    • Family Travel
    • Budget Travel

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    Piazza Archimede

    by rosata Updated Apr 23, 2014

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    This piazza is named after the great genius of mathematics and physics, Archimedes, who was born in Siracusa 287 BC and died in 212 BC.

    Piazza Archimede is known as the 'elegant living room' of Ortigia.

    In the middle of the square is the fountain of Diana, the mythological goddess of the hunt and the protector of the chastity of virgins.

    There are some benches to sit on in the shade opposite the fountain at the top of Corso Matteotti making it a good spot for people watching and relaxation.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Photography
    • Architecture

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    Wednesday Huge Market in Siracusa

    by rosata Updated Mar 19, 2014
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    Every Wednesday morning, just once a week, nice and busy like it should be

    Large section selling fruit, vegetables, local produce inc dairy produce and meats and fish and eggs.

    Stalls selling clothes for all members of the family of every quality; some high quality and expensive and some not; lost count of how many stalls selling beautiful baby clothes; shoes, sandals, boots, slippers; dressmaking fabrics and haberdashery inc knitting wools and cotton; underwear and lingerie, nightclothes; overcoats with one of the stalls selling gorgeous, sample, ladies winter coats; jackets, hats and scarves; handbags; make up and toiletries; pottery; household goods; bedding, sheets, towels; just about everything and probably the best selection I have seen in this area.

    Street parking all around, there is always somewhere to park!

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

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    Sunday Market in Borgata, Siracusa

    by rosata Updated Mar 19, 2014

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    Every Sunday morning Piazza Santa Lucia in the Borgata district of Siracusa, which is the ancient part of mainland Siracusa, buzzes with a market selling fruit and vegetables including the organic produce from the surrounds, local specialities, food, clothes (although sadly most of them are not Italian or even European), household goods, plants, antiques, bric a brac, second hand goods.

    I don't have many photographs as it is not the sort of place to risk offending people if you know what I mean!

    There are two local organic fruit and vegetable stalls.

    The 2nd photo is the one I went to today - Azienda Agricola di Pietro - and bought, grapes, lemons, oranges, fagiolini (French beans), datterini tomatoes, their own produced olive oil, 3 jars of honey; 2 are agrumi (citrus) and one is sulla (cardo - the large wild artichokes that feed animals).

    On the street at the side of the piazza are cafes/bars selling delicious snacks and drinks. I usually sit outside Le Zagare, address Piazza Santa Lucia,15. Today I had a latte macchiato and a Romana which is a delicious, oblong, sugar browned 'bun', for want of a better word, with ricotta filling.

    The bar/tabaccheria just up the street is good, too, with just a couple of little tables inside and no outside seating, a little bit cheaper.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Backpacking

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    Cantine Gulino! Visit a Vineyard!

    by rosata Updated Mar 19, 2014

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    Logo for the Cantina
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    We buy wine by the litre from this local cantina which has been making wine since 1793.

    Nero d'Avola (red) 13.5%: €1.80 / litre
    Syrah (red) 13.5%: €2.00 / litre
    Albanello (white) 13%: €1.80 / litre

    There is a small extra charge of 20 centesemi for a 2 litre new plastic bottle with seal or €1 buys a new 5 litre bidone with seal. Maybe you prefer the wine to be transported in a wine bag. These are for sale at €2 for a 5 litre holding bag and €3 for a 10 litre holding bag. You can always bring your own measured contained should you not wish to buy one.

    There are bottles of wine for sale too which we buy for presents and special occasions. There is a choice of red, white, sparkling and very good 'sweet' wines which can be consumed after food or served well chilled as an aperitivo.

    The owner happily gives tours of the vineyards and talks about the wine production after making a booking directly with him. Wine tasting with accompanying nibbles is available

    Wine can be and is shipped worldwide.

    Quality extra virgin olive oil from the Monte Iblei available to buy in an oil box (like a wine box). This makes it easily transportable and packable.

    Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday from 08:00 - 13:00

    From 22 February 2014 from 18:00 - 22:30 and then every Saturday until further notice -
    Aperitivi of slices of salumi, formaggi and stuzzichini with wine - €10 per person

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting

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    The Greek Theatre Festival in Siracusa

    by rosata Updated Feb 23, 2014

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    View of the Greek Theatre, Siracusa
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    Siracusa had one of the most impressive theatres in the Greek world built around the period 500 BC due to its high status as a commercial and cultural centre in the Mediterranean.

    The cavea was one of the largest ever built seating 15,000 spectators in 59 rows.

    2500 years later, the annual Greek Theatre Festival is one of Sicily's most prestigious cultural events attracting visitors from all around the world.

    The curtain rises as the sun sets and the magical performance begins.

    This year, 2014, is the 50th Cycle of Classical Plays and coincides with the centenary of the founding of l'INDA, the Institute. The following plays are featured in rotation from 9 May - 22 June:

    L'Orestea di Eschilo divided into two spectacles (Agamennone first, Coefore and Eumenidi second) and Le Vespe di Aristofane.

    This is a link to an article in the local paper about the stellar cast for the performances :

    http://www.giornalesiracusa.com/notizie/2014/02/04/siracusa-cast-stellare-centenario-inda-ufficializzati-nomi-degli-attori

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Festivals
    • Theater Travel

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    Castello Maniace

    by rosata Updated Jan 11, 2014

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    Castello Maniace from Plemmirio across the bay
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    This castle / fortress is built on the promontory jutting into the Ionian Sea at the tip of ancient Ortigia.

    The site was originally a Greek temple, possibly the Temple of Hera.

    The first fort was built in the 11th century.

    In the Swabian period, between 1232 and 1240, a fortress was re-constructed on the site by Emperor Frederick II.

    It was then used on and off by Sicilian royalty until the 16th century.

    Following a huge explosion in 1704 it was rebuilt again as a fortress.

    It was also used as monastery.

    It was gifted as part of the fiefdom granted to Horatio Nelson by King Ferdinand III along with the title Duke of Bronte. Nelson's descendants and then the Bridport family continued to live in the castle until 1982.

    Maniace Castle was then passed on to the Province of Catania.

    In recent years, the Castle has been used as a venue for ballet performances and music events.

    The Castle provided a magnificent setting for the G20 world conference of April 2009. The G20 conference was held in Siracusa partly because Stefania Prestigiacomo, who was Silvio Berlucsoni's Minister for Environment and Protection of Land and Sea, suggested her Sicilian home city.

    Opening Times: 0900 - 1300 (ticket must be bought 30 minutes before closing time)
    Closed Sunday and Monday (please check as this can vary)

    Admission Price: €4
    Reduction for 18-25 years: €2
    Under 18 / Over 65 Free

    Website for the Comune of Siracusa Tourism is in Italian language

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Castles and Palaces
    • Historical Travel

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    Take a Carriage Ride around Ortigia

    by rosata Updated Oct 28, 2013

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    How relaxing would it be to ride in a horse and carriage around historic Ortigia.

    The cost is €40 for a trip around the ancient island, well, that is the price I was quoted today!

    This is a good way to get your bearings and save energy to explore on foot later in the day at passeggiata time.

    Not quite a hop on hop off bus tour but could be a useful way to view the surroundings.

    It goes without saying that you would be helping to boost the local economy in an ecological manner!

    Related to:
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
    • Photography
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Market at Viale dei Comuni, Siracusa

    by rosata Written Jun 22, 2013

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    This is the main market for the community of Siracusa.

    Good stalls for fruit, vegetables, fish, clothes, etc.

    Street parking nearby.

    Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday mornings until about lunch time closing up earlier in winter, when the weather is bad, than summer.

    On Wednesdays there is a once a week larger market in the vicinity - on the large paved area called Piazza Marcello Sgarlata near Parco Robinson on Via Madre Teresa di Calcutta.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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    Temple of Apollo

    by croisbeauty Updated Apr 7, 2013

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    Tempio di Apollo
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    The Temple of Apollo is the oldest Greek temple in Sicily, and indeed the oldest Greek temple outside present-day Greece. It was built in the Doric style, dating from around 565 B.C. This temple is the first, in all Hellenic history, indexed and firmed by the model of peripetal temple with stone columns. The temple underwent several transformations: it was Byzantine church, from which is preserved the front staircase and traces of a Median door, and then became Arab mosque. Subsequently over it was built the Norman church of the Saviour, which then was incorporated into a 16th century Spanish barraks and in private buildings, of which some architectural elements still could be seen.
    These subsequental overlappings severely damaged the original temple that was rediscovered in 1860 inside the barraks and was brought fully to light by the excavations performed by Paolo Orsi in the years between 1938 and 1942.
    Of the original structure (58,10 x 24,50 m) that included 6 columns on the short sides and 17 on the long sides, only two columns were left standing on the south side, with part of .... and other columns on the same side and the side facing the east. On one of the steps on the east side is engraved inscription dedicated to Apollo, and you can also read the name of the architect, which is very rare for an Greek temple.

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    Basilica di San Nicolo dei Cordari

    by croisbeauty Updated Apr 7, 2013

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    San Nicolo dei Cordari
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    There is small and well preserved chapel, right at the entrance to the Archaeological Park of Neapolis where theatres are situated, however, it is fenced in and inaccessable for visitings. It was built above the roman water reservoir which is visible right below the construction. The reservoir was connected by the channel to the amphiteatre and served for cleaning it. The construction of this tank covered a stretch of road that originally led into the Latomia of Paradise. In early Christian and Byzantine hypogean environment was used as a church, while in the more recent period (17th c.) was also a place burial hall.
    The basilica is a Norman building and was erected in the 11th century, among the first to be built after the expulsion of the Arabs and the restoration of Christian faith. The church, which retains all the charm of the Norman severity, has a single nave with portaletto that opens on the side. In 1093 there was the funeral of Jordan, son of Roger de Hauteville.

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