Syracuse, or Syracusa as it’s locally know is a beautiful old town bordering on the Mediterranean and is filled with amazing Sicilian restaurants, small walkways and touristy gift shops. Italy has suffered heavily from the 2008 financial crisis and unfortunately they haven’t dealt with it very well. They think that ripping off tourists in the short term will help to rebuild their industry, when in fact it’s quite the opposite. I questioned a restaurant proprietor why we paid 8 euros for a small piece of cheese who promptly told me to f-off, but luckily it was only a once off and the rest of the stay was everything we imagined that Sicily would be.
Like a lot of European towns, Syracuse has an old town. Some cities seem to think that because its old, it doesn’t need repairs, but luckily in Syracuse the local council value their old town and obviously spend a lot of time, money and effort on keeping it in perfect shape, which really adds a lot of value. As I mentioned, the town sits right on the Mediterranean, which means you get old town and beaches combined.
I’ll always have great memories of sitting with Ronelle on the main square drinking Aperol Spritz watching the kids run around the 500 year old square with an accordion being played in the background.
After five days in whats now one of our favourite places in the world, we travelled across Sicily to its capital, Palermo.
Palermo is a vibrant old city that is a bit tired and dirty, but still has a lot of charm. It’s not the most kid friendly and the local taxi drivers are something to behold, but never the less it still offers tourists that typical Sicilian flavour.
One of the highlights for us was watching the Godfather 3 in Palermo and then visiting the Teatro_Massimo, where the final scene was shot….
….and not to mention the local Sicilian food, which was huge hit with kids. This was especially true at one of the local fishing villages, where we sampled an array of local seafood pasta.
We had a love hate relationship with Sicily. The local infrastructure for travel is almost non existent, the taxi drivers rip you off at any given time, but it has a certain romantic old world charm that made us feel like we were in a 1950’s movie.