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Siracusa City of Legend

Updated on February 5, 2015

Legends began in Sicily, the Island of Myth

To the ancient Greeks, Sicily was a land for Gods and Heroes.

Persephone returned to the world here, and Spring continues to arrive earlier than anywhere else in Europe. Hercules roamed the island as did Ulysses, and the great blacksmith, Hephaestus, still works his forge under Mt Etna.

Now I'm going to Sicily, to spend 15 weeks in Siracusa, the city of legends.

A Dream Come True

I've always been intrigued by Sicily. Now my dream of seeing it firsthand s really coming true.

Originally I wanted to spend a Summer in Sicily but the practicalities of tourist season and price variations made me choose the late Autumn. Off season, cheaper, minus crowds.Perfetto!

But why do I want to go to Sicily?

Persephone's Island

I love the mythology of ancient peoples, especially the world that the early Greeks saw.

When Persephone was abducted by Hades, God of the Underworld, it was in Sicily. At least the mythical land where much of the stories in Greek mythology occur, corresponds with Sicily. To me, it is Sicily.

When Persephone is returned to her mother, Demeter, she comes again to Sicily, bringing the Spring with her.

Indeed, Spring comes first to Sicily. The almond blossoms appear in early February to be celebrated as harbingers of spring. Once the delicate pinkish-white blossoms appear, Spring is not too far behind - at least in Sicily.

I'm going to walk on Persephone's Island, perhaps in her very footsteps, who knows?

The Land of the Cyclopes

Bk IX:105-151

Ulysses tells his tale:

And there's a safe harbour where there's no need for moorings, neither anchor stones nor hawsers: you can beach your ship and wait till the wind is fair and the spirit moves you to sail. Now, at the head of the harbour a stream of bright water flows out from a cave ringed by poplars

This is Siracusa! When Artemis changed Arethusa into a spring of water to escape the river god Alpheus, it was here that the transformed maiden emerged - and here was the cave of the Cyclops later visited by Ulysses and his men.

My Holiday Flat in Siracusa

How beautiful is this? A self contained flat with TV, DVD, air-con, microwave, gas stove and washing machine on this fabulous little island within an island. It even has WiFi!

My apartment is within walking distance of some of the most outstanding archaeological treasures in the world. There's a bus stop on the corner and I will be surrounded by pizzerias and other eating palaces in case I get tired of the trattoria right next door!

I will be close to the Siracusa Market

Siracusa Market
Siracusa Market

There's an open air market for six days a week. Lots of fresh fish and those stunning vegetables for which Sicily is famed.

This is exotic for me

Via in Siracusa
Via in Siracusa

My European friends laugh when I say that cobbled streets and narrow alleyways are exotic. Australia has a very short European history, we just don't have old places.

Photos of Siracusa - Yep, cobbled streets and narrow alleyways

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Feast your eyes on Siracusa

Archimedes
Archimedes

Archimides of Siracusa (Syracuse)

Archimedes, one of the greatest mathematicians of all time, is a hero of mine. I always saw him as Greek, but he was from Siracusa.

In 212 BCE, Syracuse fell to Rome. After an unsuccessful siege, a small party of Roman soldiers approached the city at night while the inhabitants, were celebrating the annual festival of Artemis. Killing the few guards on duty, the Romans stormed the relaxing Syracusians as they slumbered, and opened the city gates to the rest of their forces.

The Roman General, Marcellus, had ordered that Archimedes should not be killed. Archimedes, who was now around 78 years of age, continued his studies at home while the fighting was going on until his work was disturbed by a Roman soldier. He protested at this interruption of his work and coarsely told the soldier to leave; the soldier, not knowing who he was, killed Archimedes on the spot.

Archimides, the Genius of Siracusa

I booked my holiday with Airbnb

For great places to stay, I'm using Airbnb, a global network of accommodation offered by locals in the area you want. As well as an apartment in Siracusa, I booked a week-long stay in Pompeii through Airbnb. It's not just cheaper than hotels, I get to meet the locals.

Through Airbnb you can find all types of accommodation. You can rent a room in someone's house, a private dorm in a hostel, a granny flat in a garden or a whole apartment to yourself (like I booked). There's even luxury accommodation if that's your cup of tea. Or cappuchino.

Take a quick look at a few fantastic places in Sicily from $10 a night

What do you think?

Would you like to stay in Sicily?

See results

All comments, each and every one, are greatly appreciated

© 2012 Susanna Duffy

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      We were just in Siracusa and remembered the market well.

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 

      6 years ago

      Came back for another look. beautiful.

    • SusannaDuffy profile imageAUTHOR

      Susanna Duffy 

      6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @ogrote: If I were in USA in the 1920s, then I would keep an eye out for the Mafia, but I will be in Sicily in 2012 :-)

    • SusannaDuffy profile imageAUTHOR

      Susanna Duffy 

      6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @MariaDSk: Thanks Maria, good tip! I don't work on Sundays either and rarely eat meat.

    • MariaDSk profile image

      MariaDSk 

      6 years ago

      Oh an also, when you go there keep in mind that fisherman don't work on Sundays, so I would recommend eating light on Sunday, and on Monday morning. Every other day try choose seafood dishes over meat, as they would be fresh and lovely, and meat produce isn't major in Sicily.

    • ogrote profile image

      ogrote 

      6 years ago

      I love Italy. I haven't however made it further south than Rome. Sorrento and the Isle of Capri is also worth visting. Keep an eye open for the Mafia in Sicily !!

      When I think of Sicily, I think of the Golden Girls and Sophia always talking about being a young girl in Sicily!

    • profile image

      Miska29 

      6 years ago

      Italy is wounderful...

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Congrats on being on the first page.

    • LeslieMirror profile image

      LeslieMirror 

      6 years ago

      What a beautiful place! Thanks for this lens

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 

      6 years ago from Edinburgh

      Amazing! I've been to Sicily a few times, absolutely gorgeous place! x

    • suzy-t profile image

      suzy-t 

      6 years ago

      A dream trip. I hope you have so much fun !...Blessed.

    • profile image

      linkreggie 

      6 years ago

      I'm so excited to go that place. Actually, I have an appointment there next week..

    • profile image

      linkreggie 

      6 years ago

      I'm so excited to go that place. Actually, I have an appointment there next week..

    • profile image

      Ask_Me 

      6 years ago

      My word, it's a long way from Australia to Sicily

    • profile image

      SandyPaw 

      6 years ago

      Buona Fortuna!

    • profile image

      getmoreinfo 

      6 years ago

      Interesting story I can't wait to go visit.

    • MariaDSk profile image

      MariaDSk 

      6 years ago

      Have you been to Sicilly before? Went there for a week and absolutely fell in love! (apart from getting stung a by a jellyfish). If you find time, I'd also recomend a trip to Mt Etna, still active volcano near Catania and Taormina ( the views from there are simply amazing). Planning to write a lense on Sicily some time.

    • profile image

      stargoldteam12 

      6 years ago

      Great lens. I like it.......

    • ikehook lm profile image

      ikehook lm 

      6 years ago

      looks like a great place to visit

    • SayGuddaycom profile image

      SayGuddaycom 

      6 years ago

      Your lenses just keep getting better and better!

    • nikitakapoor profile image

      nikitakapoor 

      6 years ago

      Amazing lens, felt like I just came from a trip to Siracusa.

      Do drop by my lens sometime and do let me know do you feel about them! :)

      https://hubpages.com/travel/what-to-see-in-rajasth

    • Fushi LM profile image

      Fushi LM 

      6 years ago

      The Legend story of siracusa is what I am very touched with, this is one thing what makes me dream of coming to this place. I have watched the clash of titans that reminds me about what have u mention over here "Hades"

      Thanks for the good information that will be helpful. Will surely put this in my tours planning calender.

    • profile image

      miaponzo 

      6 years ago

      I like this lens because I was born in Syracuse :) (NY... hehehehe) Blessed!

    • KathyMcGraw2 profile image

      Kathy McGraw 

      6 years ago from California

      This looks like an fantastic trip! I love traveling and have been to many countries, but never Sicily. In some of the countries by the Black Sea you can find many ruins, and in Istanbul under the streets is the head of Medusa. I hope you have the best trip ever, and your timing is perfect. Right after high season, which is when I always did my traveling. Less crowds and cheaper prices :) I am really happy for you Susanna that you have such a long time to walk in Persephone's footsteps. Enjoy!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Wonderful lens.. Loved it.. :)

    • gatornic15 profile image

      gatornic15 

      6 years ago

      Looks like an amazing place to visit...I hope you enjoy your trip.

    • profile image

      Aquablocks 

      6 years ago

      I like the place and will definitely think of it on my trips.

    • Dmarieinspires profile image

      Dana Marie 

      6 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      I hope to visit Italy before I die...such a beautiful place

    • LaraineRoses profile image

      Laraine Sims 

      6 years ago from Lake Country, B.C.

      With your love for architecture, you will be in seventh heaven there, Susanna. It is on my bucket list too. Angel blessings on this real live journey. Congratulations on your purple star and also Squidacademy Award.

    • profile image

      PaulRyan 

      6 years ago

      It looks magnificent!! I really need a holiday... there, anywhere!

    • profile image

      MarionElodie 

      6 years ago

      This is a great lens! I have been to Italy for a week in January and I can't wait to go back, I love this country. Siracusa looks like a wonderful city and I would love to visit it as well.

    • Fcuk Hub profile image

      Fcuk Hub 

      6 years ago

      Siracusa is indeed city of legend. Beautiful place in Sicily :)

    • profile image

      sherioz 

      6 years ago

      You have really sparked my interest in this place. And for me, it is so much easier than for you - I just have to hop across the Mediterranean. I'm so glad for you that your dream is coming true.

    • flycatcherrr profile image

      flycatcherrr 

      6 years ago

      Oh, Susanna, what a wonderful trip to look forward to! And we shall look forward to seeing your photographs and reading about your various adventures. I am quite envious, and also impressed - that's a long and ambitious trip from Australia to Sicily!

    • WriterJanis2 profile image

      WriterJanis2 

      6 years ago

      How exciting for you! What a wonderful time you should have.

    • SergioBatista LM profile image

      SergioBatista LM 

      6 years ago

      Italy is just wonderful. It must be quite a shock for non-europeans. Enjoy your trip. If you can, take some time to go to Florence, Torino and of course Rome.

    • profile image

      Auntie-M LM 

      6 years ago

      Wow, what a vacation. I was in Italy many years ago, but I didn't make it to Siracusa. Next time.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 

      6 years ago from East Central Florida

      Have a wonderful time on your vacation - it looks like a lovely place!

    • profile image

      Science-Fiction-Fan 

      6 years ago

      If you see quinquiremes coming from Athens - move out fast

    • profile image

      anonymous 

      6 years ago

      Happy holidays and enjoy your visit. Keep away from the mafioso! ;)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 

      6 years ago

      It looks like a wonderful place.

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