Honey-coloured Siracusa is a staggering UNESCO World Heritage Site, and an extraordinary Sicilian city of immense ancient history. The modern population is a fraction of what it was at the city’s heyday around 400 BC, when Athens’ might was successfully challenged and faced down, reinforcing the city’s incredible power and status.
Siracusa’s historical nucleus waits to be discovered on the compact islet of Ortygia. The city was founded here, but grew over time, spreading across to the mainland. A small channel separates the two, which is now spanned by twin bridges. Wander the atmospheric streets of this time warp, to reach the shining elegance of Piazza Duomo. The Baroque cathedral rises like a giant sandcastle, and you can settle opposite to cradle a glass of wine and enjoy the view over the immaculate square - people watching before the glorious baroque façade.
Dig deep into its history at the mainland's archaeological park. Here you can wander between the remains of a Greek theatre, constructed in the 5th century BC, and now used as a grandiose, atmospheric venue for events and performances. You’ll also encounter a Roman Amphitheatre - where gladiators battled brutally, and the spectacular ear-shaped cave, which is famed for its extraordinary, secret-revealing acoustics. It was given its name - the Ear of Dionysius - by Caravaggio.
Visit the legendary Fonte Arethusa, or lose yourself in the Ortygia Market – you’ll find everything here, from fresh fish, to spices and local bottles of wines. Look out for a flavour-filled jar of real Sicilian u strattu - an intense tomato paste that is the secret ingredient to many Sicilian recipes. The local ingredients are imbued with flavour by this volcanic land’s fertile soils and the firepower of Europe’s most active volcano Mount Etna, waits just to the north.