30.05.2015 - 01.06.2015 24 °C
From the mountains and twisting roads around Etna we made our way down south to Syracuse for a fleeting visit. The bus system served us reasonably well, although we hadn't counted on the number of cancellations, so our well laid plans stretched by a couple of hours!
The differences were quite apparent - from the landscape going to seaside (albeit stony beaches and rocky ledges for people to crowd onto and swim) to a more relaxed pace with more than one street for the crowds to pour down, and most important of all the food! We were offered a "traditional Sicilian breakfast" in both places - in Taormina I accepted and got a caffe espresso filled with creamy gelato with a brioche I was instructed to dunk! In Syracuse Trev took the plate (platter really) of prosciutto, raw (huge) mushrooms, boiled egg and giardinera! Both were great!
Syracuse had a market on every morning where all fresh produce was sold and people seemed to come from all over - good to see people other than tourists! The town was again full of churches more like Cathedrals, with baptisms and weddings going on over the weekend. There was an old fort partly restored, some Greek ruins, and we found statues of Diana, Minerva and numerous saints. Again the galleries and churches could have been confused for one another as there was art everywhere!
Ortigia also had more than its fair share of cats - we initially thought they were all underfed strays (a view reinforced in Taormina where I had the life scared out of me when I took rubbish to the dumpster and a skinny tabby cat jumped out at me!). Having seen the calmer more tame cats in Syracuse we decided they are just a smaller breed and very used to tourists.
Syracuse was lovely and definitely calls for a longer stay.