Europe . Italy . Siracuse: Don´t drink the water!

Wednesday, October, 4th, 2006

We arrived in Siracuse, Sicily today and managed to get a spot in the cheap hotel that we wanted without booking ahead. We haven´t learned our lesson yet so we haven´t planned ahead.

We walked over to the Neapolis (ancient ruins) and walked around the area after paying admittance. It had a bunch of caves that you could look inside and walk around in, one even had a waterfall inside it and that one was my favourite. We walked through the ancient teatro (theatre) and saw an awesome man-made cave shaped like an ear which was called "Orecchio di Dionisio" and was ahaped like an ear for better acoustics. Everyone who walked in there was testing out how their voice carried in the cave. The area around the caves were surrounded by lime and clementine trees and Tyler could not resist stealing some (despite their not being ripe). He´s quite the good thief, so watch your belongings around him.

We were disappointed by the lack of Archimedes-related places in Siracuse since that was where he was from and he was a pretty fascinating historical figure. We searched for the tomb of Archimedes but were unable to find it, we think it was probably one of the closed off caves in the Neapolis area. Sad.

We visited yet another catacomb, this time the Catacombe di San Giovanni which had an English tour included in the price. Our guide had a very strong accent so some parts of the tour were totally incomprehensible but his giant hand gestures were interesting to watch. Every catacomb seem to try to pass theirs off as original or the first in some capacity, San Giovanni´s claim to fame was that it had the first tomb with 2 heads engraved on it (a Christian and a non-Christian, which was a big thing because Christians and non-Christian are often "grr" towards each other). And our guide kept insisting that everything in the catacomb was the "original" and that made this one lady in the group argue with him.... he won the argument by saying "No, it´s the original" over and over again until he wore her down. Good job.

We decided to try some cheap wine from the grocery store (yes, every grocery store in Europe has a HUGE alcohol section, it´s crazy!). We got a big juice box container of wine for 1euro and invented drinking games with our Italian-English translation book (we were both terrible at guessing what Italian words meant). I haven´t had much wine before and I´m not a huge fan but when in Rome... err... Siracuse, you have to at least try it.

Oh! And the tap water in Siracuse is disgusting. We had to do handwashing in yellowish water. Pretty gross. I would not suggest drinking it.

-Jenny and Tyler, possibly caught a bacteria virus in Sicily

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