Today we begin our road trip from Marina di Ragusa to Siracusa, on the southeast side of Sicily on the Ionian Sea. Noted for its Greek history, culture and architecture, it was founded 2700 years ago by ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean. It is the birthplace of Archimedes, an early mathematician and engineer. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one can often see Mount Etna in the distance. Above is the Fountain of Diana in the Piazza Archimede. Above and below is the Cathedral of Siracusa, (Duomo of Siracusa), whose structure is originally a Greek Doric temple, built in the 5th century as the Temple of Athena. The battered Doric coumns were incorporated into the walls of the current church. It is now designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Above and below is the Tempio di Apollo, Temple of Apollo, dating to 6th century BC, therefore the most ancient Doric temple in Sicily. Above and below are pics of one of our favorite open markets! You can obtain lots of good things here!! Below is part of a large swordfish! We then walked to the Greek Theatre of Siracusa, built in 5th century BC. Then to the Ear of Dionysius, a limestone cave carved out of a hill in Siracusa with a similar shape to the human ear, and extremely good acoustics! It is 23 meters high and was used for water storage. Above and below are pictures of the limestone walls around the Archaeological Park Neapolis near the Greek Theatre. Above and below is the Basilica Santuario Madonna Delle LaCrime (Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears). The Sanctuary was opened in 1994 by John Paul II, in memory of the miraculous tears generated from a small effigy of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (see below).
We then walked over to the Regional Archaeological Museum