Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Ancient Syracuse

Not an hour south of Catania is the ancient city of Syracuse... but you won't see too much of this:


(ruins of an old church)

...as not much of the old ruins remain. The city however was rebuilt a few centuries ago and still has that "ancient look", at least for us North Americans ;-) Some of it however, like the famous Cathedral at Piazza Del Duomo can never loose its charm. Here it is in all its glory ;-)



Brilliant isn't it! ;-) Anyways, St. Anne church was at least open if not quite as impressive:




...and the Piazza itself is terrific for a cold beer on a hot day:



If the centre of the island isn't your fancy you can also check out the abundance of picturesque coastline:



...which is exactly what I did! ;-) They even served Paulaner!!



I wasn't quite done soaking up the local culture:



Hmmmm...



Diner time was past approaching... but the restaurant I wanted to go to was on via Castello Maniace which was nowhere to be found (squint and look at the sign behind me, I literally walked down and around that street 4 times before realizing I was on the right one from the beginning!).



Hitting the beach can sometimes be tough on some of the rocky shores of the island... of course some arn't phased a bit!



Although I didn't have much time in Syracuse (just a day/night trip from Catania) it certainly left a lasting impression. It was especially nice since I had arrived just after tourist season was over (last weekend in August) and the city was quite literally deserted of tourists with only the bare minimum of locals remaining behind to enjoy the splenders of the city in peace.

In short, Syracuse's combination of culture, coast and culinary delights make it a highly recommended destination in Sicily. Of course I was pretty excited to leave it as well as it was back to Catania for the nightlife and an early morning rise for one of the highlights of the trip... the trek up the largest active volcano in Europe: Etna! :-)
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