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A snapshot of Ortigia: Summer 2018.

Posted by Suzanne Turrisi on 30 Sep 2020


Beautiful Ortigia, Siracusa

Ortigia is a golden and intrigiung island. Narrow streets, welcoming piazzas, Baroque buildings, small hotels to spend nights by the sea, hidden courtyards to wander, and an 18th century Baroque cathedral to admire, built over the huge, tall columns of a 5th century BC Greek temple devoted to the goddess Athena. 

This classical temple was converted into a Christian church in AD 640. (Insight Guides, Sicily)

Two small hotels by the sea, and a concert in a courtyard

Ortigia is lapped by the sea. I like spending time there and my last visit was in July summer 2018.

That summer I got to enjoy a couple of short stays in two small, sea facing hotels, Hotel Gutkowski and Henry's House Hotel. I walked, enjoyed the blues of the sea, ate well, stood admiring Sicilian Baroque buildings and was lucky to get tickets to a small Vivaldi concert (his Four seasons) held in the open courtyard of the bishop’s palace (it is right next to the cathedral).

And after hearing such moving music, I remember standing in the main piazza, Piazza  Duomo, (with my fellow travellers) and we were all in awe of what we had just heard. And the beauty of one of the best piazzas in Sicily.

All on a summer evening.


With the current world pandemic, I am not sure when I will be returning to Sicily and when we will open the house to guests again. Hopefully, it is not too far away.

In the meantime, some photos from July 2018. 


Interior, Henry's House Hotel on via del Castello Maniace 


Terrace Henry's House Hotel


Oranges by the sea


The promenade by the sea near Henry's House Hotel


Colourful Siracusan House


Pink Siracusan house


Piazza Duomo


Cafe on Piazza Duomo


Citrus garden and balcony next to the cathedral. Very likely the garden of the bishop's palace.


Piazza Duomo bathed in golden light


The 18th century Baroque cathedral on Piazza Duomo


The doric columns of the 5th century Greek temple to Athena within the cathedral walls


Internal view of the cathedral with the worn columns of the 5th century temple


Baroque beauty


Behind the cathedral on via Minerva, a small grotto to the patron siant of Siracusa (and Ortigia) Santa Lucia


Holiday mode in a back street


Classic and colourful


One of the buildings of Hotel Gutkowski by the sea, on Via Lungomare di Levante Elio Vittorini


View to the sea from a front room of Hotel Gutkowski






A Note: Updated October 1st with 5 additional photos from one of my fellow travellers. Thank you Eugenie.

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