Cruising is an ideal way of visiting several places without the
hassle of packing and unpacking. You also have the benefit of
being either within walking distance of where you are visiting
or there will be a coach with an experienced guide available.
If you donít feel like joining an organised tour, or wish to
stay on the ship, both of these options are also available.
Our first port of call in Sicily was the evocative town
of Syracuse on the eastern side of the island, known as the
Little Venice of the South, with lots of small back streets
with balconies, reminiscent of those found in Veronaís
Romeo and Juliet.
In the fifth century before Christ, Sicily was inhabited by
the Greeks and we visited the Greek theatre, one of the largest
in the world, which held a capacity of 18,000 people. Semicircular
with a stage, it has been renovated and is still used to
perform Greek plays.
Nearby was a Roman amphitheatre. We were able to
observe the difference in architecture from the Greek, as
this one was built in the round, having been used for
The ship was moored up to the docks, a short walk from
the island of Ortigia, accessed via a bridge where, apart from
the historical side, there was also a main street with lots of
shops. However, as with most places in Italy, everywhere
closes between 1pm and 4pm in the afternoon.
The cathedral at Catania
The Mediterranean laps the shore at Ortigia
Web site created by Mark Griffin