What would it feel like to live in Ortigia?
We’ve put together some special houses, a handful of local neighborhoods and authentic Sicilian towns to offer you a lovely concept of holiday.
If you would love to live for a few days in a stylish and refined apartment in the heart of Ortigia’s market, let’s plan it together. Siracusa is one of the most beautiful towns in Italy and one of our most loved in Sicily.
SLOW LIVING IN SIRACUSA
We selected a handful of properties simply perfect for this Sicilian holiday as they are “balconies” wide open to the colours and scents of the city’s historical market. You capture the soul and become a part of an authentic and vibrant piece of Sicily.
YOUR TIME IN SIRACUSA
After landing in Catania you’ll be driven the short way to Siracusa where your guide will take you on a walk to get familiar with the town and your neighborhood, Ortigia. Ortigia is a small island and the old town connected to Siracusa by a bridge.
Spend the evening at leisure, much of the city’s charm is wandering aimlessly through its tiny streets and by chance discover unique views on the sea at the end of a narrow alley.
For your first evening in town we’ll reserve a table at our favorite trattoria.
We will not fill your days with activities, because the joy of simply wandering the city and hop from one café to another should be high priority. Go out and get lost in the city. Live the daily life, take to the sea where the local go and check out the neighborhood shops, there are lovely shops of old artisans as well as new ceramists, designers and contemporary goldsmith.
We’ll give you plenty of suggestions and an itinerary planned as much as you want.
On day two start straight away on a gastronomic adventure in Ortigia food market, one of the most vibrant and colourful in Sicily. Guided by our chef, you’ll taste the local street food, delicious “panini” at a historic cheese shop, have the catch of the day cooked right in front of you and the freshest sea urchins of all time served in a coffee cup. Your guide will introduce you to your fish monger in town as you move deeper in the market to backstreets where locals play cards. There are things that thankfully have not yet changed in Sicily. Once in your kitchen, aprons on and you will try your hands at a fabulous meal.
ARCHAEOLOGY, LEGENDS and GREEK MYTHS
Siracusa is the town of the Greek Myth and your guide will take you on a fascinating walk telling you about the many myths of the city as the one of the nymph Arethusa and Alpheus who, transformed into freshwater springs, reunite in an eternal embrace right here in Siracusa at the Fountain of Arethusa.
One legend after another, you arrive at the Archaeological Park with its amazing Greek Theatre and the Ear of Dionysius, a limestone cave given its name by none other than the painter Caravaggio. The legend has that the tyrant Dionysius used this cave as a prison for political dissidents, and thanks to the perfect acoustics he could ear the plans and secrets of his captives…
SHALL WE GO TO THE THEATRE
If you come in the summer during the INDA festival we will provide you with tickets for a special evening at the Greek Theatre to see the tragedies by Sophocles and Euripides, the same tragedies that were premiered here 2000 years ago.
You’ll be spoilt for choice.
On a lazy day, just steps away from your home we’ll suggest you the best terraces and beach access equipped with sun loungers and all comforts or provide you with a boat transfer to the exclusive beach clubs at Plemmiro marine reserve.
On a wonderful sunny day, we’ll take you along one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Sicily. If you’re looking for wilder landscapes head to Vendicari, a nature reserve of uspoilt long golden beaches and a mixture of sandy dunes and brackish lakes very much loved also by migration birds and flamingoes who love to rest here for a while before taking their long journey south. On your way back to Siracusa we’ll head to the pretty fishing village of Marzamemi for the best granita of your trip or to sip Nero d’Avola in the vineyards of Planeta winery as the perfect sundowner.
On a Rise and Shine day, sail off with our captain to swim and snorkel in the emerald-coloured waters of Plemmiro and sail along the south coastline of Siracusa.
After the last few days spent between a bit of city life and some Sicilian life by the sea, it is now time to go on a fantastic ride with your bike guide. Start off in the lovely Palazzolo Acreide riding on a slightly downhill slope to Noto, crossing ancient bridges and hills dotted with stone walls, carob, almond and olive trees. Arriving in Noto, you’ll park the bikes and break at legendary Cafè Sicilia before pedalling again all the way to the coast.
A DAY ON MOUNT ETNA
You must have seen it since your arrival, as Her Majesty Etna (3,340m) covers 459 square miles and is visible at a distance of 200 km. It’s time to join our guide and set off on a wonderful adventure packed with stunning treks, lunar landscapes, natural wines and regional cuisine.
We’ll customise your day according to how leisurely or adventurous you want it to be.
Take an easy trekking along seven alligned ancient eruptive cones with epic vistas or opt for a cable car ride up to 2500 m. asl
But if today is your day to conquer the peak, then hearty breakfast and hiking boots on, let’s climb a 3300 mt active volcano. We catch up qt. 2500 by cable car, then by special 4WD vehicles up to 2900 and from there we start hiking to the summit craters. Arriving at the top is an overwhelming emotional experience. Were heaven and hell so close? Feeling like intruders and as small as ants in front of such a power, we tiptoe along the edge of the smoking mouth of the central crater, hearing its voice and keeping an eye out for bursting bubbles and yellow sulphur stones.
We’ll set up a picnic or a generous lunch in a winery to taste Etna’s wines, acclaimed today among the finest and most unique in Italy. While curious wine lovers and coinnosseurs shouldn’t miss to jump into the winery of the most visionary among the pioneers of Etna natural wines.
Tonight we’ll reserve a table for you in Piazza Duomo and the chef is well advised, you dinner must be as epic as your day.
This is just to give you an idea of what your customised trip may look like. Get in touch to design together your very own trip to Sicily.
when to go
Year round, better off-season
Private Driver / Self-drive
Stay for long
where will you stay
About SLOW SICILIAN HOLIDAYS Way of Travel
What life is like in Modica? What would it feel like to live in Ortigia?
LIVE THE PLACE
We propose you to slow down. This time don’t run from one city to another and live the place.
STAY FOR LONG
Make the place yours creating your nest and staying in a house or apartment, and possibly stay for long. The longer you stay the more you’ll embrace the place. The ideal lenght of this journey would be a week or at least 5 nights.
One more “rule”. In some places the time of the year is key to make your trip really local. It’s not a matter of where to avoid tourist crowds but of when.
YOUR SICILIAN NEST
For these Sicilian holidays we handpicked some unique self catering homes. Most are in the hearth of the historic centre, some in the countryside but all of the them and each in its unique way reflect the essence of this wonderful region.
What if you pack up your laptop, head out to a hidden corner of Sicily and make your nest your office as well for a few weeks? Modica looks like a quiet place to work for a while.