a beautiful mansion on the sea
House | 3 bedrooms | sleeps 8
A breathtaking view from a wonderful large terrace 100 sq mt and balconies overlooking the sea in Ortigia, Syracuse, Sicily, enchanting and elegant sun-flooded 18th typical Sicilian house 220 sq mt totally restored, unobstructed seaview from large windows high ceilings: hall, a large living room overlooking the sea, sitting room, well equipped kitchen, 3 comfortable double bedrooms, with ensuite bathrooms, a delicious cot for a child, a cosy attic with ensuite bathroom - 4 bathrooms in total - washing machine, air conditioning, hd tv. At 5 mt by the main door, under the windows of the house there is a nice beach on the crystal water of sea surrounding the island. So it is really comfortable to take a swim and then go upstairs, have a shower and sip a fresh drink on the terrace overlooking the sea. At 50 mt by the house there is also a solarium over clear water. Location is really perfect: you can walk around Ortygia and discover so many interesting sites. There are so many wonderful buildings and interesting outlooks as to make it impossible to set an itinerary including all that might be worth seeing. The home is nestled among equally attractive houses, really close to a beach with a nice solarium. Other beautiful beaches of Arenella, Ognina, Fontane Bianche, are at 7/10 Km.You cannot miss the classic dramas in the unique and evocative atmosphere of the ancient Greek Theatre, one of the most impressive theatres to survive from Antiquity (from the second half of May to the first half of June, every year), the Latomy of Cappuccini, Catacomb of St John, the Cacatomb and Church of S.Lucia. In autumn and winter months, this place can be even more attractive and becomes a destination for your relax and to follow a gourmet and a wine route or an extremely interesting cultural itinerary, since the Residence is in a strategic position, in the middle of many of touristic and historical routes with beautiful landscapes. Ortigia, historical center of Syracuse, is a small island connected by bridges to the mainland. The house is located in the south-facing coast of the island, completely overlooking the sea and watch the tip of the south coast where the water stands the Castle Maniace profil, in a perfect spot to enjoy this wonderful sea and is the ideal base for exploring Ortigia and Syracuse all: the Temple of Apollo, dating from the sixth century. C., the Hypogeum Piazza Duomo, Palazzo Bellomo (XIII-XIV century), the source Aretusa, its museums, its baroque churches, the catacombs, the paintings of Caravaggio and Antonello da Messina, the castle dating back to Manipur Frederick, or Mikweh Mikvah (Jewish ritual bath), the archaeological park, the Latomie, Euryalus Castle, the remains of the ancient Greek walls that encircled the city about 2800 years ago. Syracuse is also the center of the attractions of Eastern Sicily along with 9 other locations that UNESCO had listed as World Heritage sites. Syracuse is beautiful in every season, with the highest number of sunny days in Italy. BETWEEN MYTH AND BEAUTY, in the splendid setting of the GREEK THEATRE of Syracuse, don't miss the Classic Performances of Ancient Drama from 10 May to 23 June. The Ancient Greek tragedies are performed at sunset, without loudspeakers because of the still perfect acoustics of the amphitheatre, using particular sets and costumes of the Ancient Greek. Theatre season begins in early May and ends in late June, attracting thousands of spectators from all over the world. Some of the most illustrious performed tragedies are Antigone, Oedipus the King, Electra, Medea and The Bacchae. In the Greek Theatre in Syracuse, tragedies and dramas, all the works by Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides are performed as they had been in antiquity. Around 1500, during the Spanish occupation, the theatre, which had fallen into disuse and neglect, was quarried for fortifications and defence materials. Later, when interest in antiquity revived, the ancient theatre in Syracuse had been restored to their original functions. The Syracusan aristocrat Mario Tommaso Gargallo in 1913 set up a sponsoring committee with the ambition of reviving ancient drama in its “natural space”, the Greek Theatre of Syracuse. The event is repeated every summer in the setting of the Greek Theatre, a splendid monument of a city that was one of the capitals of Magna Grecia.
The light is unique in Ortigia, the profile of the promenade is Africa, Mediterranean, Poetry, Art, Sicily. We have to wander and get lost in the alleys Ortigia in to the sea. At the market on Sundays, every day of the pews of the wonderful fruit and inviting, varied and fresh fish, in the labyrinth of the Quarter, of Graziella, among the ancient palatial Ortigiani that are restructuring with care. Maniàce Castle, the cathedral square, the temple of Apollo, the procession of Saint Lucia in May and December, the underground, the refined restoration of the courts. Very romantic, not to be missed. Full of curiosity, every corner is a discovery. Ortigia: a place is really worth to go and that leaves you want to come back.
|Size||Sleeps up to 8, 3 bedrooms|
|Will consider||Corporate bookings, Long term lets (over 1 month), Short breaks (1-4 days)|
|Nearest travel links||Nearest airport: Catania International Airport 50 km, Nearest railway: Siracusa train station 4 km|
|Family friendly||Great for children of all ages|
|Notes||No pets allowed, No smoking at this property|
Features and Facilities
|Luxuries||Internet access, Boat available, Sea view|
|General||Air conditioning, TV, Fax machine, Wi-Fi available|
|Standard||Kettle, Toaster, Iron, Hair dryer|
|Utilities||Cooker, Fridge, Freezer, Washing machine|
|Rooms||3 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms of which 4 En suites, Solarium or roof terrace|
|Furniture||Single beds (2), Double beds (3), Cots (1), Dining seats for 8|
|Other||Linen provided, Towels provided|
|Outdoors||Balcony or terrace, Bicycles available|
The Sicily region
Sicily, the beauty and the history of this wonderful region can be discovered starting from Syracuse, and in particular starting from Ortigia. More than 2000 years ago the great Latin poet Virgil described this small wonder island:
The Aeneid, Book III - line 692-695 - ORTYGIA
'Sicanio praetenta sinu lacet insula contra
Plemyrium undosum; nomen dixere priores
Ortygiam, Alpheum fama est huc Elidis amnem
occultas egisse vias subter mare, qui nunc
ore, Arethusa, tuo Siculis con funditur undis'
“Stretched in front of a Sicanian bay lies an island, over
against wave-beaten Plemyrium; men of old called it Ortygia.
Hither, so runs the tale, Alpheus, river of Elis,
forced a secret course beneath the sea, and now at thy
fountain, Arethusa, mingles with the Sicilian waves.'
Every season here is beautiful, the province of Syracuse is the one with the highest number of sunny days in Italy, and this offer, which is a further reduction on the rates , allows you to save twice in the low season and limit costs in the high one.
The simultaneous presence of a fresh water source and of a recess of the coast, suitable to protect the anchorage of ships, attracted in 734-33 B.C. the Greek colonists of Corinth to the island (at that time still a peninsula) of Ortigia in Sicily.
Here the Greeks founded the city of Syracuse, chasing out the Sicels who had already populated for centuries the area before them.The choice proved to be fortunate, to the point that the newly founded city not long after started to expand even onto the mainland, arriving in time to articulate a set of five principal areas, called "Pentapolis", with an overall population (on the order of hundreds of thousands of people) that formed, before the Roman conquest and decadence, one of the largest metropolises of the ancient Mediterranean.
Ortigia is one of a few centers of the Mediterranean to conserve the Ancient Greek urban framework in such a way as to still be legible on a map. The structure of the streets, despite more than two millennia of evolution, still respects the "comb teeth" orientation that radiates from a principal street, the Sacred Way (the present Via Dione), which runs through the center of the island.
Over the centuries the urban structure was centered around "ronchi" (alleys) and courtyards, where people lived outdoors throughout most of the day, while the house was designed as a place to store work tools and as a shelter at nighttime.
The island of Ortigia is slightly larger than a square kilometer / 0.39 square miles, but concentrated within it is an extraordinary density of monuments of historic and artistic importance.
A less-than-superficial visit of Syracuse requires at least three days, one of which must be dedicated solely to Ortigia, while another can be reserved for the archeological treasures of the mainland.
Some of this time can be dedicated to simply strolling through the streets lined with baroque buildings that compete for attention by exhibiting extraordinary balconies, one different from the next and one more whimsical and bizarre than the others.
The recommended route is the one heading to the right down the street Via Vittorio Veneto, lined with Baroque buildings, mostly restored, and even some surviving gothic and renaissance buildings.
After a bit, the street crosses the “Strada Nobile” (“Noble Street”) of Syracuse, lined with even bigger and more grand baroque buildings.
Heading to the right one reaches Piazza Archimede, and along a street that passes in front of Santa Maria della Concezione, one arrives at last at the extraordinary Piazza del Duomo, from which it is possible to proceed from the city center in any direction. A recommended detour is the ancient Jewish quarter, the Giudecca.
During this walk one is advised to enter the courtyards, within several of which the stairs are true theatrical wings that cannot be appreciated from the exterior. Among the many, we recommend the courtyard of the Palazzo Gargallo, very close to the Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel – which provides a scenic taste of the baroque over preexisting gothic elements, or that of Palazzo Bonanno, in Via Maestranza 55, with a grandiose open gallery. A visit to this building is worth the effort.
Instead of through the heart of the island, a different itinerary is possible along its edges, indulging in a relaxing stroll along the seaside, which is filled with interesting tourist attractions and ancient historic monuments.
And don't forget to take time to sit at a table at a bar to taste a fresh “latte di mandorle” (“almond milk”), or if it's the season, a Sicilian granita, or if only to be tempted by the gastronomy of Sicilian pastry, sold in the many artisanal shops found in Ortigia.
The best way to see the island of Ortygia is just to wander. It's difficult to get lost (it measures just 1km by 500 metres), but packed with over 2,500 years of history. Architectural styles vary widely, encompassing Greek and Roman remains, Mediaeval Norman buildings and a great deal of (relatively) understated Baroque. Restaurants, trattorias and bars abound and it is especially nice to sit out on the western side in the late afternoon, warmed by the sun and with a view over the lagoon.
On crossing the bridge from the mainland you have three possibilities: turn right and walk along the western part, turn left towards the eastern part or go straight on into the centre.
The historical highlight of the western side is the fountain of Arethusa. Legend has it that Arethusa, originally an Arcadian nymph, fled underwater to Siracusa in an attempt to rid herself of the persistent amorous advances of the river God Alpheios. The Goddess Artemis transformed her into the fresh water spring that we can see today. All was in vain, however, as Alpheios located his prey and mixed his own waters with hers. Legend also has it that the spring is directly connected under the sea to the river at the sanctuary of Olympia.
Going straight on will take you first to the remains of the Temple of Apollo, which, being built in the 7th Century BC was supposedly the first great Doric temple of its kind in Sicily. Continuing up Corso Matteotti will bring you to Piazza Archimede, named after the town's most famous son.
From here it is a short walk to the real centre of Ortygia, the Piazzo del Duomo. This delightful pedestrian square is home to the wonderful Cathedral built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena as can clearly be seen from the original Doric columns that were incorporated into the building's main structure. Also on this square is the beautifully symmetrical Baroque Palazzo Beneventano and the church of Santa Lucia, the town's patron saint.
Turning left at the entrance to the island will take you immediately to the colourful daily morning street market, which sells a fantastic array of fruit, vegetables, fish and meat. At the end of the market is a must-see for food lovers: a delicatessen of rare quality, called “I Sapori dei Gusti Smarriti” (literally the flavours of lost tastes). Here you can find cheeses, hams and cured meats of the very best quality, many of which, especially those produced in Sicily, you will find nowhere else. There is also an excellent assortment of wines, condiments, sun-dried tomatoes and other Sicilian delicacies made by the shop's owners in their “laboratory”.
From here wandering around the eastern limits of Siracusa you fill find a maze of streets that eventually open out at the southern extreme of the island and the inaccessible Castello Maniace, a true bastion built by Frederick II in 1239.
Other sights of interest on Ortygia include the Byzantine Miqwe (Jewish baths) under the Hotel alla Giudecca.
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Calendar last updated:18 Sep 2014
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