Recommendations: Siracusa, Sicily
When we were in Sicily we stayed in a villa about 20 minutes south of Siracusa, thus we ended up spending a few evenings for dinner here and also did our day trips in the surrounding area. In general, Siracusa is one of the most visited towns in all of Sicily given its rich history and beautiful waterfronts. You could easily spend a few days in the city itself but there is a lot to see in the surrounding areas so it does make for a great base if you don't want to move from place to place.
|The piazza in Siracusa|
What to Do:
Ortyiga: Ortygia is easily Siracusa's jewel and is the main thing to see when heading here. It's a small island just off the city center that is packed with history and colorful winding streets. While there is many things to see in Ortygia such as the Castello Maniace, Cathedral of Siracusa and impressive piazza, the best thing to do is just start walking, get a little lost and see what you come across.
Wine Tour: If you are into wine, doing a wine tour outside of Siracusa is a must. While Sicily may not be the most famous wine region in all of Italy it boasts some delicious wines (home to the famous Nero D'Avola grape) and also has some beautiful countryside estates. We visited two wine estates that were probably 45 minutes south of Siracusa, Zisola and Planeta Noto. I would highly recommend both and opt for the lunch at Planeta.
Greek Ruins: As I mentioned, Siracusa has a rich history as it's over 2,700 years old and was one of the most prominent Greek cities in ancient times. Due that, it boasts a lot of ruins throughout the city, both in Orytgia and in the main city center. You can easily stumble upon some as you are walking through Ortygia but there is also the Archaeological Park (which we didn't make it too) which includes the Greek Theater; which was one of the largest during the ancient Greek Period.
Where to Eat:
Fratelli Brugio: Upon arriving in Sicily, we were tired and famished but luckily stumbled across Fratelli Brugio which is located at the top of Ortygia. It's part deli, part wine shop, part restaurant and it's only open till about 3 so it's a perfect place to stop for one of their cheese boards and a sandwich when you need a break from walking around.
Bistrot Bella Vita: A husband and wife team opened up this casual cafe on one of Ortygia's side streets. It's simple, but delicious and has a good mix of pasta and seafood. You can't go wrong with anything but the swordfish and ravioli were excellent.
Macalle: Sicily is known for it's seafood and there is no shortage of it at almost any restaurant. Macalle is no exception and has seafood with almost every dish. The tagliatelle with swordfish was easily my favorite but the octopus and bruschetta were great dishes to start off with. Macalle's lively chef is also a can't miss figure which will only add to your dining experience.
If you are looking at some of the lists of where to eat in Siracusa, you will undoubtedly come across Don Camillo. I would avoid as it's stuffy, over priced and the food was meh at best.
Where to Stay: If you are going to stay in Siracusa proper, you should stay within Ortygia. That is where all the action is and where you will be spending your evenings for dinner. That said, if you want to stay in a villa, I can't recommend ours enough.
And as a tip, if you are driving into the city, there is parking right at the top of Orytigia. It's a big lot right over the bridge and just make sure you get a ticket, don't pay someone as they are just swindling you for your money.
|The catherdral of Siracusa|