Syracuse, is the best known town in the south east region, and for good reason. It can be roughly divided into three parts, the modern town with its seaside promenades and broad avenues, the ancient Greek and Roman city at the foot of Monti Iblei and lastly, the island of Ortigia with its narrow streets, baroque churches and charming piazzas.
One of the best beaches in the region, Fontane Bianche is 3km stretch of coast, 15km from the centre of Syracuse. With fine white sand, a gently sloping seabed and warm, transparent sea, it is very popular with families. Sunloungers and parasols are available for hire.
In the heart of Vendicari Nature Reserve lies an 8km stretch of golden sand dunes, lagoons, cliffs and hidden bays. There are no sunloungers, bars or water sports and no crowds. A truly wonderful place to swim and well-suited to families but be sure to take anything you might need including water with you. You might see the occasional flamingo!
A favourite beach in this area as it is stunning with beautiful clear, turquoise water and a gently shelving sandy beach which is great for families. Head for the section that is not owned by a particular hotel or resort, where there is a beach hut serving ice cream and drinks. This beach does get busy in peak season.
Greek Theatre Syracuse - Mid May to late June
One of Sicily’s most prestigious cultural events each spring is the Greek Theatre Festival. At sunset, in the evocative setting of this ancient amphitheatre, a classical Greek comedy or tragedy is performed, transporting audiences thousands of years back in time.
Infiorata di Noto, Noto - May
Italy’s best-known flower festival sees one of the baroque town’s main streets, Via Nicolaci, carpeted with a series of flower tapestries. The day after the festival finishes children enjoy running through the petals scattering them in all directions.
Festa della Fragola, Cassibile and Syracuse – April & May
A celebration of the first crop of strawberries held every year around the end of April/beginning of May.
THINGS TO SEE & DO
Take a stroll around the enchanted cobbled streets of the island of Ortigia, stopping at bustling piazza’s and baroque churches along the way.
Piazza del Duomo
Spend an evening at Piazza del Duomo, a masterpiece of baroque architecture lined with restaurants and home to a stunning cathedral adapted by the Byzantines and later the Normans from a 5th century BC temple to Minerva.
Parco Archeologico della Neapolis
Visit the famous Greek ruins in Syracuse including the extremely well preserved Greek amphitheatre where classical theatre is performed in the summer months.
Val di Noto
Drive to the late baroque towns of the Val di Noto. The valley holds a series of picturesque towns composed almost entirely of baroque churches, palaces and house - a must see for architectural and historical enthusiasts.