Thursday, March 17, 2016

Siracusa - Ortigia

We left Piazza Armerina on the 7:45 bus and had some so-so views of Mt. Etna to our left as we approached Catania where, with 6 minutes to spare, we caught the 9:30 bus south to Siracusa. And by 11:00 we were settling in to our room in Hotel Posta on the northern end of Ortigia, an island connected to the rest of Siracusa by twin bridges, that is "the historical center of Siracusa". Hotel Posta's location will serve us well as we have planned two day trips by bus (Pantalica and Noto) and Hotel Posta is 15 minutes walking from the bus station. Also it's just 25 minutes walking to the archaeological park and museum. And goes without saying that it is in Ortigia.

Surrounded by water, Ortigia has atmosphere and sights, souvenir vendors, eateries, and a lively local market. Three of those sights are ancient Greek Temples. And if you've following this blog, you know we have thing for ancient Greek Temples. Here we hit the jackpot. The Catholic Cathedral of Sircusa, located on Oritigia was built using the columns and cella of the the Greek Temple of Athena. They can be seen inside and outside of the temple. Wow!

Mount Etna through the bus window (at right behind the light poles).
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Spinach pastry.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Some shots of the Ortigia waterfront.
Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Inside the Cathedral + Temple of Athena. The Greek Temple columns are incorporated into the side walls of the Cathedral.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Looking back to the front doors, with temple columns on each side. One can see the arches of the nave which were cut into the inner walls of the Temple of Athena.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

The columns, about 6 feet in diameter, have stood for over 2000 years.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

And on the northern outside wall.
Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Archimedes, the Greek mathematician was from Siracusa. This fountain bears his name.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

And his statue stands on one of the bridges which connects Ortigia with the mainland.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Off the beaten track on Oritigia.
Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

The local outdoor market.
Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Ortigia shops are getting ready for Easter.
Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

Take out pizza topped with local arugula.
Ortigia - Siracusa, Sicily, Italy

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