Syracuse (Siracusa) is an ancient Greek town on the south eastern coast of Sicily, Italy. Syracuse, whilst having a wonderful, modern atmosphere, has amazingly strong links with its ancient origins, through mythology and the staggering range of ancient monuments that still stand, many in a seemingly impossibly good state of repair.
The Ortegia region of Syracuse, Italy, lies on an island, and is the ancient centre of the town. Mythologically important for the Spring of Arethusa, Ortegia is awash with some of the most amazing monuments and ruins you can find. These Temple of Apollo is the oldest example of a Greek temple still visible, and easily rivalling those of Rome and Athens for splendour. Across the New Bridge, the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Terminite Hill is a magnificent place to start your exploration of the relics of the area, allowing you to see the tell-tale differences between the Greek and Roman remains that adorn the region. There are also a handful of medieval relics to explore from a Syracuse villa, including the imposing Maniaces Castle.
A Syracuse villa is the perfect spot to gain a cultural understanding of Sicily. The town is perfectly positioned for full explorations of Sicily, and as the second largest city, the communications networks are excellent. There are many fantastic cultural courses to take, and the Sicilian cooking courses in Syracuse are known for their quality. Tourists can also enjoy craft workshops, learning traditional puppetry, ceramic and painting skills. Wine tasting sessions are particularly popular, allowing you to find your favourite Sicilian wine before heading to one of the excellent restaurants within the town. Whilst there are a large range of ‘tourist’ restaurants, these are best avoided if you would like to experience a little culture, and there are some fantastic local restaurants to discover if you look.
Of course, those staying in a Syracuse villa with a pool will be perfectly prepared for the hot summer months, but if you don’t, the proximity of the clear waters of the Mediterranean will be a real treat. There is plenty of swimming available from Syracuse, and you can easily arrange sailing, deep sea fishing and scuba diving excursions of the highest quality during your stay in a Syracuse villa, pool or not!
There are also plenty of paths to take inland, whether on foot, bicycle or on the back of a Sicilian pony. The wood and scrubland that stretches towards the interior of the island makes for perfect walking and riding terrain, with exceptional views reaching miles over the landscape and out over the glistening waters of the Mediterranean.
A little further up the eastern coast of Sicily is the historic town of Catania, which boasts a mix of ancient architecture which almost rivals that of Syracuse. The most impressive monuments are actually a little more recent than those of Syracuse, but highly impressive none the less. Access to Mount Etna is excellent from Catania, and those wishing to visit Europe’s most active volcano will have plenty of opportunity.
Summers in Syracuse are wonderful, and with daily temperatures climbing into the mid 30’s (°C) on most days from June until September, a Syracuse villa with a pool is an almost priceless commodity, allowing you to have a relaxing dip before breakfast, a cooling siesta or even a romantic glass of wine around your Syracuse villa pool watching the sun setting in the evening.
There are regular train services running to Syracuse from Catania Airport (CTA) taking just a couple of hours. Catania Airport is located just south of the city of the same name, and luckily for those of us trying to reach Sicily from the UK, British Airways, Monarch and ThomsonFly all provide direct services from British airports including Manchester (MAN) and Gatwick (LGW).