Syracuse and Ortigia an Endless Love Story

by Anna D'Angelo

31.08.20

Extraordinary cultural historical and scenic heritage

Siracusa, which was considered the greatest and most beautiful city in Greece by Cicerone, was founded in 734 B.C by Corinto’s settlers.
The city was at its maximum splendor during the Greek period.
It’s name’s origins holds three hypothesis, the most reliable comes from the nearby river Syraco.
Some say that the name comes from the Phoenician’s dialect “sul” cliff and “acco” warm, but an other tempting theory is that the name referred to the constant presence of seagulls on Ortigia’s island. The last theory states that the name just comes from the greek form “Syracoussai”
ortigia-isola-fotoSyiracuse belongs to Unesco’s heritage since 2005; it is a fascinating and suggestive city for its special position between Ortigia’s island and the Altopiano dell’Epipoli and for its architectural styles ( greek, roman and baroque) by which it tells thousand of years of history.
Home to the Faculty of Architecture, it is a young city that fascinates for its nightlife as well.

I am in love with all the myths that make the place much more charming. Look what I found about it!

Alfeo who fell in love with nymph Aretusa. The nymph was tired of the constant courting by Alfeo so she asked Artemide for help, whom turned her into a spring on Ortigia’s shore ( the so called Aretusa spring).
Alfeo then asked for help tp the Gods that turned him into a river, which being bored in Greece and covering all Ionio sea could finally join its beloved spring thru a freshwater spring: which is the so called “ Occhio della Zillica” that flows into the “Porto Grande” in Siracusa, not far from Fonte Aretusa. Nowadays the avenue that runs along Fonte Aretusa is called “Lungomare Alfeo”.
la-fonte-aretusa
Ciano and Anapo’s Love. Zeus and Demetra’s daughter Persefone, goddess of vegetation and agriculture was about to pick some flowers together with some nymphs by the Pergusa Ade’s  lake shores, whom was madly in love with her and decided to kidnap her. Ciane tried to fight back holding Ade’s chariot. In response the furious God hit her with his scepter and turned her into a spring with turquoise water.
Anapo, madly in love with Ciane nymph after assisting to the transformation decided to turn into a river too which still today at the end of its path merges to Ciane’s water to pour into Porto Grande. The story goes that Persefone stays in Ade for four moths per year ( when mother Demetra gives us winter), while in the remaining 8 months he goes back on the mainland for spring summer and autumn.
ciane-e-anapo
Archimede’s Eureka! The central “Piazza archimede” is a tribute to the scientist that among the million inventions found the solution to  a tricky request made to him by Gerone II: to find out if a crown that was gifted to him was made of Gold or not. All of that without damaging the crown. Archimede, exclaiming the famous “Eureka”, found out that he really had to do was to dip the crown in the water and then dip the equivalent weight in gold coins. He found out that the two objects were not moving the same amount of water, therefore the crown was not made with gold.
Fontana-di-diana-siracusa To really live and appreciate the synaesthesya (link) of  this place, you should walk for a long time and let yourself be transported by your intuition , therefore i suggest you to visit something that has been exciting for me and to follow your dreams and sense.

♠Teatro greco: It is  the most famous monument of the city and is located in the “Parco Archeologico di Neapolis” Theatre architecture of Western Greek. 

♣Duomo: it has over 2400 years of history, with a baroque front made by Andrea Palma and Doric columns. I love all of these styles. 

♥Latomia dei Cappuccini: A place full of history, a dug rock with traces of human activity and power of nature. It looks almost exotic and magic. 

– From war prisons to culture places. Stone pillars, rock blocks, wells and caves. Hundred years old poplar trees!!
https://www.antoniorandazzo.it/latomie/latomie.html
Friars turned it into gardens and orchards. They used to extract the famous white stone from this cave.
latomie-dei-capucciniManiace’s Castle : Castle from the Swabian period, it has such an intriguing story!! http:
https://www.stupormundi.it/it/simboli-e-misteri-del-castello-maniace(1232-1240).
I love all castles but this one in particular holds an incredible story.
I wish I had a time machine to relive all those emotions!

And now the beaches!!! Along the Syracuse Coast you can find Calamosche , Fontane Bianche, Vendicari e La Riserva Marina del Plemmirio, some of the best places where you can lay down on the beach.
calamosche-siciliaBest Video about Syracuse ” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=on1b_OxX8DI 

Ortigia

A cozy space full of different cultures.
Ortigia’s island means “ quail’s island”. It can be reached from Siracusa by the Umbertino bridge and you  are welcomed by many Doric columns of Atollo’s temple. An other witness of greek origins. 

The itinerary from here can start with a walk along Corso Matteotti with vintage buildings from the fascist period, to end up in “Piazza Archimede” with the “scudo dorato di atene”
– Piazza del duomo, its shape reminds of an almond and there are many Rococco buildings
– Santa Lucia alla Badia’s church: with Siracusa’s saint patron of Caravaggio”
– Fonte Aretusa : a water mirror, symbol of Alfeo’s love for Aretusa 

The little streets around “piazza del Duomo” with baroque’s balconies and pubs that come to life when the sun sets. You can’t miss the walk between one happy hour and an other on the promenade that takes pastel blue and pink color.
ortigia-di-notte

 Hotels e Relais 

Golf Lovers : https://www.imonasterigolfresort.com 

More Central: https://www.hotelcaportigia.com/it/

Simple but Elegant: http://www.guthotel.it/lhotel/

Ortigia Island:  http://www.algila.it

Suites Lovers: https://www.ortigiaroyalsuite.it

 

Restaurants/Bars

“I hate people who are not serious about meals. It is so shallow of them.” (Oscar Wilde)

Recommended Book: “Il mare di Siracusa (libro fotografico meraviglioso)”

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