Roman amphitheatre and Greek Theatre Siracusa

I have started out this selection with a Panorama of the Greek Theatre at Siracusa mentioned in history as early as the 5th century BC. Greek tragedies were performed here and still are to this day. The theatre seats as many as 15,000 spectators and is 138 meters in diameter. It is carved out of the bedrock of limestone instead of being built of blocks of stone.
The next three shots are of  the Roman amphitheatre from around 3rd or 4th century AD. Once again carved out of the rock.
The next four are back to the Greek theatre and surrounds with the main roadway,the Via de Sepolcri , showing the deep rutting made by the cart wheels.
The next three are in the Latomia del Paradiso, the ancient stone quarry.
The shots are  of the so called Dionysius's Ear a man made grotto 65m long and 23m high. The grotto is renowned for it's amazing acoustics.
Then the rope makers grotto. The damp conditions were ideal for their trade.
Finally a panorama of the Via de Sepolcri to finish the tour.
A "must see" for visitors to this city.


Our first visit to Siracusa was to Ortigia, the Ancient part of the city. Set like an island off the tip of the main city this is where the Greek colony was first founded in the 5th century BC. It also has many beautiful Baroque buildings and is quite breathtaking. The Duomo (first pic) was built in the 7th century AD on the remains of the 5th century Temple of Athena. Inside are all the original columns of that temple and it is wonderful to see them both in harmony with each other. Later modifications came in 16th to 18th centuries with finally the Baroque facade in the 18th century as we see it today.
Next the Fonte of Arethusa which is a spring on the shore which was one of the reasons why in ancient times this was chosen as the centre of the city.
Piazza Archimede  has a fountain dedicated to Diana with some great statues.
This one of the prettiest of the cities or towns that we have visited.

Camping Rinauri and Fonte Ciane

We have moved now to very near Siracusa to an Agritourism site called Rinauri. It is set in an old orchard and is left natural and very pretty. A little pricey at 17euros a night considering the water is undrinkable and electric is an extra 3 euros a night but it is very peaceful, a little bit of heaven.
We tried another walk with a limited success on the river Ciane to look at the Papyrus. This was introduced into Sicily in ancient times by the Ptolemies of Egypt. We attempted the river walk but due to the amount of rain lately the banks were flooded so we just managed to get to the main pool.

Attempt on Scuderi

Today we decided we felt up to an attempt on Mte Scuderi, at 1253 meters and quite a tough climb. We were preparing to leave the camp when Etna decided to erupt, hence the view from the site of the ash cloud. This is the fifth time she has blown since we arrived in Sicily back in October. We drove up to the start of the walk through Itala and found the road blocked, another collapsed hill side. Some locals showed us a route round and we eventually found the start of the walk and soon got a better view of the mountain still smoking. We continued up the track and began to climb, all went well at first until we left the track and started up a goat path. The way got worse and there had obviously been lots more land slip in the area. We both decided that it would be folly to continue so settled for Mte Cappedano at 978m. The walk was worthwhile anyway with some lovely views. When we got back to camp the mat was covered with ash from the Volcano. Another exciting day in Sicily.

To Boldly go, or at least try to !

Today's little Jaunt should have taken us on a back road over to Rca Novara which was a mountain of  over 1400m which Sarah fell in love with from a distance back in October. She found a walk which would take us up this peak, If only we could get there !  The road up the valley started promisingly with lovely scenery and orange and lemon groves abounding. We reached a village called Scifi and immediately the signs dissapeared. Carrying on regardless we made our way up the hairpin bends until we saw a sign to our mountain, we were on our way. Round a few corners we came to a bridge, and beyond the bridge the road appeared to have dissapeared. Proceeding with caution the way seemed passable so we carried on. The road gradually got worse and worse as you can see from the pictures. These are the better bits as I could not stop to take shots on the really bad parts, too busy trying to hang on. Sarah had to walk a few of the places where there really was no road, and we both had to dismount and push a few times as well. We eventually came to a wind farm and  luckily I asked a worker if we could continue down into the village. He shook his head and I think he thought we were mad to have come this far. So reluctantly we turned round and came back the way we arrived. All safe and sound except for one time when dismounting, Sarah managed to fall over backward into the verge, luckily on the inside of the corner, and also luckily she had her crash helmet on because she whacked her head. No bones broken so alls well that ends well.