Siracusa or Ortigia

Jun 29th, 2010, 08:35 AM
  #1  
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Siracusa or Ortigia

Experienced Travelers,

Is it nicer to stay in Ortigia or is Siracusa just as nice. The idea of a room with a sea view is appealing. Any recommendations for either site?

Thanks once again.

Helen
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Jun 29th, 2010, 09:56 AM
  #2  
kja
 
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Ortigia! I enjoyed L'Approdo delle Sirene.
kja is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 10:13 AM
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Ortygia is quite flat, so if you have a view of the sea, it won't be like what you find in Taormina or Amalfi or other famous beauty spots. You'll be looking at a horizon of water. Make sure, too, your view doesn't include the large parking structure built out into the water if you are paying for a sea view, and if it matters to you.

It is marginally easier to stay in Siracusa if you need a base to go on many day trips. The bridge connecting Ortygia to land can sometimes be a bottleneck of traffic. In fact, if you plan to be in the area for days doing day trips, an agriturismo with its own parking set in nature might be best of all.

Ortygia is half a boutique tourist spot and half its good old-fashioned Sicilian self. Although Siracusa attracts a lot of tourists around its historic monuments, it is otherwise a working Sicilian city.
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Jun 29th, 2010, 10:15 AM
  #4  
Ian
 
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Siracusa is just a town & other than the Roman/Greek ruins, it is not very appealing. Ortigia is a warren of small medieval lanes with a lot of character, restaurants, views etc.

Ian
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Jun 29th, 2010, 10:24 AM
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Ortigia is much the most attractive part of Siracusa, and not too far on foot from the station and archeological museum in the modern part of town. There are several excellent restaurants, a market, a bus terminal for day trips (Palermo also) and quite a few B&Bs on the seafront.
tarquin is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 10:25 AM
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Just as a note -- to correct my own post as much as anybody else -- Ortygia is actually a part of Siracusa. It is, in fact, the oldest part of historic Siracusa.
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Jun 29th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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tarquin and I were posting at the same time!
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Jun 29th, 2010, 10:35 AM
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What about Taormina a bit further up the coast. Its absolutely gorgeous.

Make sure you take a trip out to Noto Antica.
Fashionista is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 10:44 AM
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I stayed at the Domus Mariae in Ortigia and highly recommend this small hotel run by an order of nuns. Our room had an expansive sea view. The staff are exceptionally helpful and lovely. There is parking in a public lot next door. It was free when we were there about 5 years ago.

I found Ortigia to be much more charming than the off-island sections of the city.



A bit less pricey, the nearby Gutkowski also offers some rooms with sea view.

http://www.sistemia.it/domusmariae/image/doppia.jpg


http://www.guthotel.it/
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jun 29th, 2010, 10:45 AM
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Easy - Ortigia hands down. And Ortigia over Taormina too - Taormina is all touristy, Ortigia still feels real.

For my unedited pix of Ortigia see http://kwilhelm.smugmug.com/Travel/South-Italy-2008 - gallery and password siracusa
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Jun 29th, 2010, 10:47 AM
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Here is the main site for the Domus Mariae. Being run by a religious order in no way impacts guests, by the way. The proof of how exceptional the staff were is the fact that years later, after quite a few subsequent trips to Italy and beyond, I still remember the name of the woman at the front desk who was so helpful to us.

http://www.sistemia.it/domusmariae/english/albergo.htm
ekscrunchy is online now  
Jun 29th, 2010, 10:56 AM
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I stayed at Villa Paradiso dell'Etna. It has a roof top breakfast area so you sit sipping coffee watching Etna gently puff. No sea view but a beautiful hotel in lovely grounds. Car needed though.
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Jun 29th, 2010, 10:58 AM
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Ortigia- hands down!!!! My daughter spent a semester abroad there several years ago and if I could have found the money I would have invested in rehabbing one of those great apartments overlooking the water and lived there part of the year.

Ortigia(which I have heard as become a tourist spot now that Amazing Race profiled it and the tour buses come for the day) is a town lost in time that is now trying to catch up. It is one and a half miles by one mile around,totally surrounded by water and the one bridge to Siracusa and is breathtakingly beautiful!
I would stay either at the Domus Mariae or the Hotel Gutkowski(requesting either room 8 or 9) with the sea views.

This little gem of a city deserves time to have a coffee at Cafe Minerva near the Duoma;walk along the Lungamare promenade with the sea views and picturing the sea battles with Athens from centuries ago while savoring a gelato and enjoying the varied restaurants that make you feel as though you are family.
The puppet theatre show(marionettes) is not to be missed even though it is not in English.
Spend time perusing the markets and feeling as though you are a local.It is a wonderful place to sit out and people watch while catching the sunlight and a glass of Nero D'Avola wine.
Seriously, if there is heaven on Earth-Ortigia is it!

Taormina is beautiful but sooooooooo touristy with the cruise ships and tour buses everyday that it ruins the city...in my opinion!
dutyfree is offline  
Jun 29th, 2010, 11:03 AM
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Thursdaysd-loved your pictures! Boy do I want to go back-perhaps a Fodors GTG there?
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Jun 29th, 2010, 11:14 AM
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Thanks dutyfree! Yes to the GTG! I'm considering March 2011 - I'll be spending March in Europe and am thinking about returning to Portugal, Sicily and/or maybe Greece....

BTW, beautiful description - I'd add the duomo - supposedly the oldest continuously occupied religious building in the world, and you can really feel the peace there. And a boat trip round the not-quite island.
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Jun 29th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Neither, it may be a taxi ride out of town but

http://www.hotelilparco.net/

Is the best value hotel in Europe. The gardens are worthy of an English country house and the rooms are large. You will also not be woken by kids on mopeds riding round Ortigia at 2am.

Italy is the world centre of hype, Taormina is its capital. I would back up the comments above - if you want to hang out with Fred Olsen types then book a cruise. Only Nassau gets more over-run with cruise ships.

Head for Modica - there aren't many towns like it in Europe.
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Jun 30th, 2010, 12:34 AM
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And Ragusa, which doubles as Vigata in the TV series of Inspector Montalbano and looks spectacularly beautiful from the aerial shots.
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