Siracusa: why not?!?
Siracusa, known to English speakers as Syracuse, is a wonder to behold. One of the great ancient capitals of Western civilization, the city was founded in 734 BC by Greek colonists from Corinth and soon grew to rival, and even surpass, Athens in splendor and power. It became the largest, wealthiest city-state in the West and a bulwark of Greek civilization. Although Siracusa lived under tyranny, rulers such as Dionysius filled their courts with Greeks of the highest cultural stature, among them the playwrights Aeschylus and Euripides, and the philosopher Plato. The Athenians, who didn’t welcome Siracusa’s rise, set out to conquer Sicily, but the natives outsmarted them in what was one of the greatest military campaigns in ancient history (413 BC). The city continued to prosper until it was conquered two centuries later by the Romans.
Present-day Siracusa still has some of the finest examples of Baroque art and architecture; dramatic Greek and Roman ruins; and a Duomo that’s the stuff of legend, a microcosm of the city‘s entire history in one building. The modern city also has a wonderful, lively, Baroque old town worthy of extensive exploration, as well as pleasant piazzas, outdoor cafés and bars, and a wide assortment of excellent seafood. There are essentially two areas to explore in Siracusa: the Parco Archeologico (Archaeological Zone), on the mainland; and the island of Ortigia, the ancient city first inhabited by the Greeks, which juts out into the Ionian Sea and is connected to the mainland by two small bridges. Ortigia is becoming increasingly popular with tourists, and is starting to lose its old-fashioned charm in favor of modern boutiques.
Watch the video below by Luca Morreale to see amazing timelapses of Siracusa as seen from several corners of the city. The video reveals timelapses of the city where the videomaker shows his love for Siracusa, which at the time was the most important and beautiful city of ancient Greece.
Where to stay: The Donna Coraly is a secluded and serene boutique resort, in the grounds of the Grande family San Michele estate (there’s even a tiny private chapel). It’s run by Lucia Pascarelli, the granddaughter of Mrs. Coraly. Donna Coraly has the qualities that make a stay here one of life’s memorable experiences. This aristocratic villa is not only an oasis of peace, beauty and authenticity but it is also a prove of importance of Sicily in the history of Italian Peninsula. Indeed it has an over 600-years-long, here on September 3rd, 1943 the Italian government signed the secret unconditional Armistice of Cassibile with the Allies. Donna Coraly provides five suites, all spacious and tastefully furnished with elegant 19th century antique furniture. Many of the items are part of Lucia’s family heritage since generations. The bright and friendly suites make you feel instantly at home. The mix of past and present will also pull you in its spell. Every suite features a walk-in closet, floors made from majolica-tiling, furniture from the 19th century and modern art. Hospitality, comfort and quality on a high level of, this is what distinguishes all suites as well as the entire property. A chef is on hand if you’re here for lunch or dinner (his feasts are well worth sampling).