24 Photos - Jun 10, 2016
Photo: Chris and I spent our first full day in Sicily taking a day trip to Siracusa (aka Syracuse) to see the Greek and Roman ruins there and the island of Ortygia, which is the main commercial center of the place. 

We parked our car, found the ruins, and started by visiting the Roman amphitheater, pictured above.Photo: Me, visiting the Roman Amphitheater in Siracusa.Photo: Chris and I at the Roman Amphitheater, Siracusa.Photo: The major ruins in Siracusa are all in the same general vicinity, and a single ticket gives you access to all of them. Having completed our visit to the Roman Amphitheater, we headed towards the Greek Theatre. 

The theatre dates from the 400s or 500s BC and is still in pretty decent condition. Plays are still shown there during the summer. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_Theatre_of_SyracusePhoto: They were getting ready for the summer season when we visited, with the stage already built out. Unfortunately, we got there a couple weeks too early to see a play. They were doing Alcestis (Euripides), Elektra (Sophocles), and Phaedra (Seneca) this year.Photo: This is what I would have looked like had we gotten tickets to a play :-)Photo: Oh my God, we actually took a selfie. Greek Theatre, Siracusa.Photo: This is what you see atop the Greek Theatre.Photo: Theatre sections used when plays are shown in the 2500+ year old venue.Photo: Dos and don'ts when seeing a play at the Greek Theatre!Photo: Within the archaeological park in Siracusa, we visited one more site, which is the ruins of the Altar of Heron. The altar was used for sacrifices to the gods. Only the base of the altar remains, but it gives you a good idea of the immense size of the site.Photo: When we were done seeing the archaeological we moved the car and walked onto the island of Ortygia, which is the historical center of Siracusa. 

This picture shows the bridge from the mainland onto Ortygia.Photo: Pretty building in OrtygiaPhoto: Beachfront walk, OrtygiaPhoto: Me, in front of a papier-mache boat on the Ortygia beachfrontPhoto: Ortygia, portal in the city wallsPhoto: Pretty (and tiny) shrine to St. Sebastian, OrtygiaPhoto: Look it up using Google Translate :-)Photo: Siracusa Duomo in Ortygia. This turned out to be a fascinating place, as it's built on the site of a Greek temple (dedicated to Athena). Rather than destroying the temple, they built the Duomo around it, so that you can see elements of the temple when you go inside.Photo: Columns from the original Greek Temple on the site of Siracusa DuomoPhoto: Church of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro on Ortygia, right next to the Duomo. This building houses a giant Caravaggio painting, the Burial of St. Lucy. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burial_of_St._Lucy_(Caravaggio)Photo: And like every place else we visited in Sicily, Siracusa had cannoli. Yay!Photo: Castle, seen while walking around Ortygia trying to work off our lunch.Photo: Ruins, Ortygia, Siracusa