Thursday, October 25, 2007

Sicily - Ortygia sights

Our last stop: Ortygia,, a small island just off Siracuse. To quote Lonely Planet "it's a living museum of a succession of epochs - Greek, Norman, Aragonese and baroque - purposefully combined in a harmonious symmetry". I could see why it draws visitors like magnets.

One of the bridges connecting Ortygia to Siracuse.

In the centre of Ortygia island lies Piazza Archimede with its 19th century fountain of Artemis. At the back you will find Catalan-Gothic Palazzo Lanza.

Palazzo Arcivescoville (17th-century) at night.

Cathedral at Piazza del Duomo. It's a Spanish shell of columns and Marabitti statuary designed by Andrea Palma. It thinly disguises the original temple of Athena.

Luckily the next day was a Sunday: the crowd was gone and we got to stroll around at our own pace. We actually liked the deserted streets.

On the southeast side of the island we found a "beach" called Maniace, which really is a rocky shore but people were swimming and sunbathing happily nonetheless. The water was a little too cold for us.

View of cathedral on a sunny day.

One of the original Doric columns built in 5th-century BC, still supporting the roof.

"Newer" buildings on the island.

We finished our trip with a traditional puppet theatre. Even though we don't speak the language it was quite captivating.

The plot seemed rather violent with dragon slaying etc. The audience was loving it!

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