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August 27, 2012

Ortigia, the old city of Siracusa, is separated from Siracusa by water.  Standing on the eastern coast of Sicily, south of Catania, approximately a 45 minute drive, Ortigia’s architectural beauty portrays Sicily’s layers of history.  The old city was founded by the Greeks, who were followed by Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Normans and Spanish.  It is a pleasant walk to stroll through Ortigia starting at the city’s entrance, called Porta Marina.   Unfortunately, the picture below is not of the best quality as it was taken at noon.



On a hot summer day, the shade offered by an alley can provide great relief.



The Temple of Apollo across from the market


On a stroll into the Duomo Square, the Duomo of Santa Lucia, Patron Saint of Siracusa, the cream stone buildings create a blinding beauty on a bright summer day.  Who can resist just sitting and people watching!



Duomo di Santa Lucia



Another highlight of a visit to Ortigia is Castello Maniace, a majestic fortress overlooking the sea, standing on the furthest edge of the island of Ortigia.  In a way, it reminds one of the fortress along the shoreline of La Valletta, in Malta, built in La Valletta  after the 1565 siege. 

Castello Maniace was originally a fortress built in the 11th century by the byzantines and it was transformed into a castle in the 13th century.   It remains an important monument of the Swabian period in Sicily. 


Capers, capers, growing wild everywhere






Inside Castello Maniace a copy of one of Caravaggio’s masterpieces, the Beheading of Saint John the Baptist.  The original copy of the painting is in La Valletta, Malta. 


As one closes the loop of a walk along the waterfront of the city, one encounters majestic centuries old trees.  The gnarled chestnut trees offer shelter to other trees growing within their structure, as the palm tree growing between the branches in the picture below.





  1. Rosanna, I am so happy you are blogging again! I have missed reading your posts, and I miss you! You are so talented with your writing…it’s the next best thing to being there! Hope all is well with you. Big love and hugs!


  2. Holly,

    It is so good to hear from you. I have been busy with company and my own trips outside of Sicily. However, my internet key has been working so slow that uploading pictures from home has become a nightmare.Right now, I am at a wifi site to get a better connection.


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