05.26.08: Siracusa

Siracusa: Things to do, people to see

We sleep in; and when we’re ready walk to the pasticceria for pastries, brioche con limone granita e caffe. And water. This time we buy one liter each. It may be late spring to some but Sicily, so close to Africa, gets hot. I remember, the first time I returned to the island as an adult, my surprise at the palm trees. Adela laughed, “But Andrea they have always been there. Perhaps when you were younger you never thought to look up.”

After breakfast we piled into the car and made our way to the city center, the 2nd time in two days. And with just as little luck as before. Kudos to both Claudia and Kristin who took turns driving stick while I attempted to make sense of the city layout and navigate. We managed to travel through and around the outskirts of Siracusa (if only we had this map) without ever making it anywhere nears our intended destination. At one point we were so lost we drove into a private parking lot to ask someone for directions, only to find out we were on the other side of town and bypassed Adela’s street completely! By the time we arrived at Adela’s it was half past two—lunch took a little longer than we planned and sight seeing didn’t kick in until half past four. We all agreed then and there that Tuesday would be a beach day.

Sights to see whilst in Siracusa: the Roman & Greek theaters. If possible, plan your visit in time to see live performances of the Greek tragedies. Unfortunately 3-1/2 days was hardly enough time to see much. Next stop Dionysius’ Ear, the Temple of Apollo, then the Fonte of Aretusa, and the baroque cathedral: Santa Lucia alla Badia. Topped off by a stroll through Ortygia, the archaeological island off Siracusa.
Nighttime brought us to Anna’s for dinner (calzone like pizzas filled with meat and cheese) where we spent time with Anna, Tony, Zia Lina (Adela & Anna’s mother), Manuela & Bartolo (Anna’s daughter and son-in-law) and their children, Niccolo e Federico.

With only evenings to visit Anna and her family we stayed later and later each night to maximize the time. Bittersweet moments especially seeing as how exhausted Anna, Manuela and Bartolo were (from working all day, returning to take care of the children, make dinner and then visit with us). I wish Anna would consider making a trip to visit with us; she has not been back to the States since she lived in Brooklyn as a young teenager. I know it’s something she wishes with all her might. I vowed to send them a ticket upon her official retirement and despite her fear of flying and leaving the children for a few weeks I hope she’ll acquiesce.
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