Bonjourno! This morning began with our arrival to Syracuse (Siracusa) Harbor. Syracuse is a city on the Ionian coast of Sicily; it is well known for its ancient Greek and Roman ruins. At the time it was the most influential city of Magna Graecia. Best known for its defeat of Athens in 413 BC, Syracuse was home to a number of prominent Greeks, including Archimedes. Our first stop on this morning’s trail of ancient ruins was Grotta dei Cordari — in English, “Ropemaker’s Cave.” This series of caves is part of the Latomia del Paradiso.
After lunch we headed out on foot with our local experts to explore the nearby Island of Ortigia. The city of Ortigia was built on limestone and the lava flows from Mount Etna. Some 3,350 m (11,000 ft) in height, geologists confirm there are four active craters atop this stratovolcano in Italy. On a clear day, you can enjoy a glass of vino while watching Etna come alive with an exceptional level of recent activity. We made our way through the city, sampling gelato and local candies along the way, and arriving at the Syracuse Cathedral. Our afternoon included free time to explore this beautiful city and enjoy dinner ashore.