I’ve got a ton of posts to crank out on our family vacation to Sicily and Salzburg. I’m hoping to get my butt in gear. Here’s a quick peek at what I expect to cover:
- Getting There. Connecting In Rome And Using Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points Overseas
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Catania, Sicily
- A Return To Taormina, A Beautiful City On A Hill
- Our Favorite Part of Taormina
- Exploring Mt. Etna
- Walking And Eating In Downtown Catania
- A Day In Siracusa
- Priority Pass Lounge At Catania Airport
- airberlin To Salzburg
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Grand Salzburg
- Sound of Music Tour
- Walking Around Salzburg
- L’Osteria Restaurant
- Salt Mines at Berchtesgaden
- Cable Car at Untersbergbahn
- Tasty Donuts, Salzburg
- Train To Vienna
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Vienna, OMG
- Haus des Meeres: Aqua Terre Zoo
- Austrian Airways Lounge, Vienna Airport
- Austrian Airways VIE-IAD, Business Class Review
- Wrapping Up
Siracusa is a city on the coast about an hour South of Catania. We chose it for a day trip based on a couple of reasons. First, the archeological area is an interesting site. The Roman Amphitheather and Teatro Greco are right alongside each other, allowing a comparison of the Greek and Roman cultures that influenced the area. Second, the city rests on the water with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. The pictures tell much more of the story than my words here.
The archaeological area isn’t located far from the water, sitting up on a hill. A joint ticket for both sites can be purchased just outside the gates. There’s also a small snack area and flea market for souvenirs.
While some areas are closed off for preservation, there are plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. The kids enjoyed pretending they were at the theater and living like Greek and Roman royalty.
There is very little in the way of shade in either Teatro Greco or the Roman Amphitheater. During peak summer months, it makes sense to show up early and spend the afternoon hours in the water.
Walking And Dining in Siracusa
The city center of Siracusa is actually a small island located just a few minutes away from the archaeological area. There are hotels, shops and restaurants throughout. On both the South side and North side of the island you’ll find small beach areas where you can swim/sun/relax. These aren’t formal beaches, per se. One is a small sandy area near a pier. There’s a dock with wait staff and larger lounge areas. Entry will cost you a few dollars, but nothing too severe.
Once again, we ended up at a restaurant that wasn’t quite open. And, they welcomed us with open arms. We chose Al Mazari based on a handful of review sites. It’s not on the water, though most of those restaurants seemed very much geared towards tourists. Finding the restaurant meant using Google Maps and darting down a number of alleys.
The dining room is small, less than a dozen tables. The staff suggested a bottle of sparkling wine that really hit the spot. From there, we stuck mostly with seafood though we did sample some pasta as well. It was a really solid meal and the service was definitely up to snuff. We’d go back if we were in the area again.
The Final Two Pennies
We spent most of the day in Siracusa. I would imagine you could stretch it into two days if you lingered more than we did. There’s not a lot of shade in the archaeological areas. I’d recommend trying to conquer this part early in the day before the heat gets too intense during summer months. The island has a number of areas to explore. Even though the streets are a bit wider (and there are cars), it reminded me a bit of Venice. It’s an interesting island to wander throughout, seeing what lies around the next corner. There’s an aquarium there as well that we passed on.
All in all, I’d put Siracusa on your list if you intend to be in the area. I’m not sure we’d specifically go back, but that’s mostly because we haven’t explored any of western Sicily. That’s on our list for our next trip.
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