Personal experience: how not to get bored in Syracuse in a month
My name is Irina, and a month ago my husband and child went on a trip around the world. I have already shared my experience of preparing for such a trip. It’s time to talk about our first stop. We decided to start where in October you can still swim. This place has become Sicily.
Initially, the plan was the island of Procida near Naples, where my Italian friend invited us, saying that you can live in her house. When it came down to the matter, it turned out that the girlfriend was pregnant, the house was busy, and all the apartments in the neighborhood cost fabulous money. We began to look for other options in Italy, but despite the fact that I studied in Italy and worked with an Italian company, Italian friends could not help. The only (and far from the worst!) Option that remained was to go to Sicily, where we already lived in January 2016. Then we made friends with the owners of the Lilia’s House apartment rented through Airbnb, and this time, when we contacted them directly they offered a great price.
Syracuse is a cultural rather than a resort destination, but for the 3 weeks of our stay there in October we did not get bored at all and managed to get plenty of fun and sunbathe. The air was +26, water +24, and the sun was shining all the time – probably we were lucky with the weather, because it rained there a whole week before our arrival. In Syracuse, you can only swim with a large stone platform in the old city, so we went to the nearby beaches of Arenella and Fontane Bianche, both half an hour from the city.
In Arenella, the lido was already closed, so we went there with our towels and an umbrella, and in Fontana Bianca several equipped beaches were opened at once: 2 sunbeds, an umbrella and the entrance to the territory actually cost 15 euros (however, there is a place where you can settle down with your towels). If you need free wi-fi, choose Lido Sayonara with a bar, restaurant and weekend animations. We traveled by bus (a ticket costs 1.20 €), and sometimes Fontane Bianche by train (about 2.20 €), although the locals never pay for the bus, and we soon began to take an example from them. It should be borne in mind that on Sundays the train does not run, and the bus schedule is apparently known to one driver, so the last time we got back with the beach caretaker, who kindly threw us to Syracuse.
In addition to the beaches, you should pay attention to city attractions. Most are located in the old city – on a peninsula called Ortigia. The ruins of the ancient Greek Temple of Apollo, the cathedral square with the most beautiful Cathedral (Duomo) and the Church of Saint Lucia, where a painting of Caravaggio, the fortress of Maniace, the Fountain of Aretusa and a market with fresh fish, vegetables, fruits and nuts hangs. Here on the market is the tastiest establishment of the city according to TripAdvisor – the Boderi paninoteca. There is always a queue in a tiny shop, but what you get as a result is worth any expectation: the owners of the restaurant right before your eyes will create gastronomic masterpieces from local cheeses, sausages, sun-dried tomatoes, olives and other goodies, without repeating themselves and selecting ingredients for every visitor. All the tastes of Italy in one sandwich for 5 € – probably this is only possible here! If you are waiting inside, you need to take the number to the right of the entrance, and outside – stand up for a live queue, watching the magic of your hands and listening to the cheerful twittering of the owner, clearly enjoying what he is doing. By the way, here you can buy cheeses, smoked meats, sauces and wine: parmesan for 15 € / kg, mozzarella cooked the same morning, delicious prosciutto cotto – everything can be packed in a vacuum and taken home to “continue the banquet”. Also on the market, I recommend buying almonds (from 10 € / kg), pistachios (from 15 € / kg), delicious macaroons (12 or 15 € and more than ten different tastes) and seasonal fruits.
If you want to have a quick bite to eat in the old town, I recommend Viola Bakery on Via Roma, 43. You can sip coffee with Sicilian cannoli (ricotta tubes) and a view of the Duomo at Caffe Minerva in the square of the same name, and Fior offers the best and highest quality ice cream di latte (Piazza Duomo, 18 or Via del Porto Grande, 10/14). For an aperitif, head to the Foro Vittorio Emanuele II promenade in the Marina Caffe or Blanca cafe, dine with pizza overlooking the sea – in one of the restaurants on the promenade to the left of Fontana Aretusa. We liked seafood in the La Tavernetta da Piero trattoria on the pedestrian street Via Cavour, 44.
But the old city of Syracuse is not limited to. Outside, you can see archaeological sites of the ancient Greek era, go to the open-air museum of Archimedes in the same place nearby, look into the temple of Madonna delle Lacrime in the form of a tear.