It’s impossible not to become entranced by the regal beauty of Ortigia. A small, densly populated island off the shores of Siracusa is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting Sicily.
I fell instantly in love with the tangle of narrow cobblestone streets, greenery, unique shops and bountiful caffes and ristorantes. Although I’ve never been to Rome, the experience reminded me of what I thought Italy’s captial city would be like.
Below: Piazza Pancali
Did I mention the markets? As a Canadian accustomed to buying all my produce from No Frills (or Metro when I’m feeling fancy), I find there’s something so romantico and authentic about buying fresh food from an outdoor market.
Look! I can celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving here too!
Below: Beautiful and unique gift shops.
piazza del duomo
Arguably the most beautiful (and probably the oldest) place I have ever been in my life. While the piazza is now flanked on all sides by ristorantes and overpriced pizzarias, you still feel like you’ve been instantly transported to Ancient Greece. Or at least a scene from the Game of Thrones.
Below: Duomo, built originally in 5th-century Ancient Greece in dedication to Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and Intellegence. Her statue once crowned the temple’s roof, but has nowadays been replaced by the Virgin Mary (go figure).
I can hardly begin to describe the atmosphere that fills the piazza. Firstly, it sounds exactly like you’d imagine it. Fairly silent due to the sheer size of the space, except for the music of an accordion, being played by a heavy Italian boy on the steps of Duomo. He probably wasn’t playing any song of any kind, but to my awed and untrained ears, it sounded like the most beautiful thing in the world, and I had the sudden urge to eat a bowl full of spaghetti, then fly directly to Rome.
Only a brief 30-minute walk from my place of work, I think Ortigia deserves to be my regular hangout – what do you think?