Cycling in Siracusa – Sicily

There are a number of things to consider when selecting a destination for a cycling holiday. Top of the googling ( I know this is not a proper word, its just one I’ve recently adopted, having had a lost in translation moment with an italian chap ) is usually the cycling terrain. The likely weather conditions are also an important consideration, and of course all the practical matters; getting there, bike hire etc.

If high on your list of priorities are food, wine, greek temples, baroque architecture, magical light, and you’ve read a couple of the Inspector Montalbano books, or seen the TV adaptations, then you may find yourself in Sicily.

Sicily does not promise smooth pot-hole free roads or accommodating drivers, but there is a  very good chance you will find yourself cycling through lemon groves under a bright blue sky, thinking about the Pasta Norma and glass of Nero d’Avola you will have for dinner later.

The Mechanic and I spent a week based in Siracusa, located in the south-east corner of the island. Our apartment was in the beautiful historic part of the city  which is separate from the modern town and is found on the island of Ortigia.

Guide books and the internet, will inform you about the museum,  historic buildings, best restaurants and the wonderful daily market, selling fresh fish and fruit and veg…but here is my little guide to some of the less touristy information.

Bike Rental

Rent Bike  –  We hired two  carbon- fibre Basso Laguna , promptly delivered  to and collected from our apartment, for an additional fee, all detailed on their website.

Eating

Caffe Apollo  – no visit to Sicily is complete without sampling Cannoli, or in the singular known as a Cannolo, a pastry shell filled with creamy sweet ricotta – delicious!   The pastries at Caffe Apollo are the best, if you don’t see the Cannoli just ask, as they are made up fresh to order.

Caffe Apollo, Largo XXV Luglio 13, Piazza sul tempio di Apollo, Syracuse                                                                                                                                           

Trattoria Spizzuliamu – to be found on a small side street off Via Cavour near the Duomo, this small trattoria serves great pasta and seafood.
Trattoria Spizzuliamu , Via del Consiglio Reginale 33, Syracuse
Timilia – this pizzeria is truly hidden away, but well worth hunting out, although the interior is unremarkable the pizzas are fabulous.
Timilia, Via Tommasso Gargallo 24, Syracuse
Drinking
Enoteca Solaria – the perfect place to sample the local wine, Solaria has a lot of character, a great selection of wine, and also a simple menu should you want a few appetisers.
Enoteca Solaria, Via Roma 86, Syracuse
Shopping
Giudecca Trentasette – a great shop to pick up your holiday souvenirs, selling local wines, olive oil and conserves, as well as beautiful hand-painted ceramics. Look out  for the ceramic pine cones, the Sicilians consider them good luck.
Giudecca Trentasette, Via della Giudecca 37/39, Syracuse

… happy holidays!

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