Welcome in Sicily! I'm Valentina Sirugo and I will be your guide in discovering some of the most beautiful Ancient Greek and Roman theatres in the eastern part of Sicily! We will go from Catania to Taormina, to Syracuse and finally to the little village of Palazzolo Acreide, to see the little wonderful Greek theatre! In the meantime, I want you to see some other special places and taste the local specialities! Let's start! *Credits: This tour was made by Valentina Sirugo, as a multimedia tourist and storytelling project for the "Laboratory of formal technical writing (storytelling and gamification)", under the coordination of Prof. Elisa Bonacini, within the ITS 2-years COURSE "Higher Technician for the management of tourist accommodation facilities and cultural activities", 2019-2021, founded by the ITS Archimede Foundation at the CUMO Eastern Mediterranean University Consortium, in Noto (Syracuse).*
Today we will discover some of the most beautiful places in Catania, but our first stop will be the incredible lava stone theatre! We will see the Cathedral and the Duomo square, but also some other baroque locations!
Welcome to Sicily and welcome to Catania airport! Get ready to reach the Hotel aboard the most characteristic car of the holidays in full Italian style!
Welcome firstly to [Catania](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catania)! If you want to know something about the city, here is a suggested audiotour from izi.TRAVEL! As you will see, Catania is an incredible city, which in the past was able to survive to dozens of tragedies, from eruptions to earthquakes. The most terrible one was the (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1693_Sicily_earthquake), which destroyed many cities and villages in the south-east corner of the island. But, again, Catania was able to wipe up and rebuild itself more beautiful than before, becoming a unique Baroque town, declared as a World Heritage Site in the UNESCO list. Despite everything, there are many archaeological remains of the city, first Greek and then Roman, which was certainly one of the most beautiful Roman cities in southern Italy. We will discover together the remains of its theater!
Stop and enjoy the view from the steps of the theater and breathe the history around you! Covered by houses from the Middle Ages to the present day, undermined several times by the earthquake and then the subject of demanding restorations and systematic excavations for 35 years. In Catania, the archaeological complex of the Greek-Roman theater and the odeon unforeseenly reveals itself among the buildings in Vittorio Emanuele II Street, like a precious gem that re-emerges from oblivion in all its grandeur. If you want to better imagine how it would appeared in the Roman times, here is a [3D reconstruction](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J52H5SLUcEM)!
Make a stop to savor the creative Sicilian cuisine inside a "buatta", what in Sicilian dialect is the tin container that contains exquisite traditional foods and more! Buatta, in this case, is therefore a collector of ideas, of Italian culinary excellence, of recipes prepared calmly and offered in an impeccable way. To all this, combine the highest quality craft beers, a youthful and creative atmosphere and raw materials that enhance the strong flavors of the largest island in Italy.
Talking about theatres...here is the modern theatre in Catania, which is a wonderful example of elegance and acoustic perfection! If you want to see it inside, here is a [360° photo](https://www.antoninodelpopolo.it/virtual-tour-teatro-massimo-vincenzo-bellini/) easy to browse!
Breathe in timeless elegance! Make a stop at the most important private palace in Catania and a precious testimony of the Sicilian Baroque. The frescoed halls full of charm and elegance, represent a splendid setting for concerts, meetings, receptions, gala evenings, fashion shows and much more! I want to tell you the real history of this place: this was the location of the 18th century Biscari Museum, set in a portion of the very famous [Biscari Palace](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzo_Biscari), where the Prince of Biscari, who was an archaeologist and an art lover in general, was used to collect all his naturalistic and archaeological collections! Here came some of the most important personalities during the 17th e 18th centuries!
Get your camera ready! The [Cathedral of Sant’Agata](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catania_Cathedral), the cathedral of the city of Catania, is one of the places of worship most frequented by visitors from all over Italy but above all by the people of Catania, devoted to the saint, martyr and protector of the city. You cannot fail to visit her!
Keep looking up! The statue of the elephant symbol of the city of Catania is the gnomon of the sundial placed in the center of [Piazza Duomo](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piazza_del_Duomo,_Catania). The monument measures time with the light of the sun and is therefore "heliotric", in the dialect of Catania became "liotru"! If you want to discover more about the myths of Catania, here is a iz.TRAVEL suggested audiotour!
Continue your walk with the rustle of the fountain in the middle of the green! The Pacini garden is one of the two oldest gardens in the city and one of the four main parks in Catania.
Take a seat and enjoy the Catanese gastronomic specialities in a typical location, in the center!
Relax with a late evening drink in an environment that is the right mix of vintage and modern!
Today we will discover the wonderful Greek-roman theatre in Taormina, facing to the Etna mountain, and then the little village of Castelmola!
Approaching Taormina, I recommend that you find parking in this public area, the closest to the city center which is pedestrian.
Welcome to the Greek Roman Theater of Taormina! Below I am also attaching the in-depth izi.TRAVEL audioguide on the Archaeological Park of Naxos and the Theater of Taormina. Good stay and good discovery of this incredible monument! Here is also a [3D reconstruction](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aET_jChMT_M) for you!
Breathe in history and tradition! The building houses the Tourist Information Office on the ground floor, where, among other things, a collection of Sicilian puppets and a stylized prickly pear plant are exhibited; while on the first floor there is the Museum of Popular Arts and Traditions
Hidden and little known, this Roman Odeon is worth a stop! Much smaller than the famous Greek Theater, the Odeon was built under the Roman Empire, probably in the 2nd century AD. Currently the Odeon is not used for city events but is used during the Christmas period as a backdrop for the living nativity scene.
Now enjoy a nice lunch in the center!
Continue your cultural walk in the name of art! Masterpiece of Sicilian Gothic art with characteristic elements from the Arab and Norman periods. An integral part of the walls of Taormina, today it is the seat of the foundation dedicated to the painter and sculptor of granite Giuseppe Mazzullo.
Get ready to breathe the Sicilian sky aboard the cable car that connects the center of Taormina to Isola Bella! Immerse yourself in the blue between the sky and the sea of Sicily!
And now enjoy a healthy and well-deserved relaxation on one of the most beautiful and evocative beaches in Sicily!
And now, let's return to Taormina, for a wonderful fish dinner and a walk around the village in the night!
This third day is the turn of the wonderful Syracuse! You will se the Theatre and other monuments in the Archaeological Parks, and the wonderful Archaeological Museum, the newest Catacombs of Saints John and Lucy and finally have your rest in a beautiful b&b in Ortigia island!
Welcome to the Syracuse Roman Amphitheater, the largest in Sicily, as well as one of the largest in Italy considering that it is slightly smaller than the Arena in Verona!
Welcome to the most famous Greek Theater in the world! Here every year the classical representations of ancient Greek theater are renewed. Every year the commitment of actors, costume designers, directors is renewed ... to bring to the stage the ancient Greek tragedy, always current! Stop and breathe the history! Again, if you want to have a better idea about the theatre, her is a [3D reconstruction](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SfqXWAidD40)! And, if you want to reserve a seat during the next season of Greek tragedies, here is the link to the [INDA foundation](https://www.indafondazione.org/en/homepage/), the National Institute of Ancient Drama, which organizes all the shows here since years!
A few steps from the Greek Theater, you cannot fail to enter the Ear of Dionysius, one of the most powerful and evil tyrant of Syracuse! Here myth and legend have met in history!
Near the Archaeological Park of Neapolis, about 200 meters from the Greek Theater, you will find yourself in a green and relaxing space, where the passion for science, for [Archimedes](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes), for the homeland history and culture will make you plunge into the past of Syracuse and among your school reminiscences. A visit to the [Tecnoparco](https://tecnoparco-archimede.com/en/) will reveal the extraordinary contributions that the studies and inventions of this great Syracusan scientist have made for the whole Humanity.
Enjoy your lunch break in this modern and cozy bistro
Those who come to Syracuse cannot fail to be struck by the monumental conical structure that dominates the city from its 74 meters high. It is the Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime, a sign of profound piety and faith.
Your cultural walk isn't over yet! The ["Paolo Orsi" regional archaeological museum](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Museo_archeologico_regionale_Paolo_Orsi) in Syracuse is one of the main archaeological museums in Europe. If you want to have a little taste of the wonderful archaeological findings here displayed, coming from half Sicily, here is a [great interactive virtual tour](http://www.regione.sicilia.it/beniculturali/museopaoloorsi/google-maps/museo-paolo-orsi-siracusa-primo-piano/index.php)!
An underground path will lead you to discover the largest Christian Catacomb of Syracuse, an extraordinary place of worship for its beauty and history. Through its large galleries, you will take a journey into the womb of the earth and breathe a climate full of sacredness; you will discover, in the peace of a millennial sleep, the secret of life beyond death.
Visit the oldest evidence of the presence of a church in Syracuse and Sicily! This church is connect with the tomb of one of the most important martyrs in Sicily and over, [Saint Lucy](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Lucy), who has been worshipped here since two millennia!
And now just relaxation and healthy chats over an aperitif!
And now, park your car just at the entering of [Ortygia island](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ortygia) and carry your luggage with you for a little walk! Cars are not always allowed in the island, so it is better to leave here your car! What it takes to end the evening for you is a healthy walk breathing the sea breeze!
Enjoy dinner with the Mediterranean tastes in very typical local dishes!
Conclude your evening with a walk in Piazza Duomo. Let yourself be guided by the soft lights that enhance the limestone of the square and the beauty of its [Cathedral](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Syracuse) (which was the Athena Greek Temple!), immerse yourself in a incredible magical atmosphere between the music of the locals and that of the street artists
This is the last day of your trip! You will discover the beautiful monuments in Ortigia, such as the wonderful baroque Cathedral, built reusing the Doric temple of Athena, and the very first Sicilian built temple, the Temple of Apollo. After lunch, you will drive to Palazzolo Acreide, where a beautiful theatre dominates the archaeological area of Akrai. Then, full your eyes of beauty, you can drive finally to the airport!
And now, start your visit from this incredible church: the [Cathedral of Syracuse](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathedral_of_Syracuse), where Saint Lucy is worshipped! This is a unique monument, an ancient Greek Temple, transformed in a Christian Church. You can easily distinguish the doric columns on the external side of the Church and inside: it's great! Here in Duomo square, during the Greek times there was the main religious space of the city, with two temples built: the temples of Athena and Arthemis. If you want to imagine how this space could appeared in the past, here is a [3D reconstruction](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRfdwtgu4zc&t=1s)!
This fountain celebrates a great myth, on which the foundation itself of Syracuse is based: Arethusa, in Greek mythology, was a nymph who gave her name to this spring on the island of Ortygia.
This is an incredible medieval Castle, transformed during the centuries! The Maniace Castle dominates the city of Syracuse and the Ortygia island and was built by the Emperor Frederick II between 1232 and 1240. It was used as a royal residence, and then under the Spanish domination it became a horrible prison!
Crossing the central square you cannot fail to be kidnapped by the splendid Diana Fountain! This is the monumental fountain most photographed by tourists visiting Syracuse
Proceeding along the Corso, you will arrive at the oldest Doric temple in the Greek West: the monumental Temple of Apollo, where the real signature of its architect is preserved! Do you want to see its [3D reconstruction](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7A6Eo5-yAU&t=40s)? You will appreciate how the ancient Greeks were able to build a massive temple in stone and how they decorated it!
Didn't this walking make you hungry? Taste the best and most genuine local products!
And now let's start discovering [Palazzolo Acreide](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palazzolo_Acreide), a very beautiful village not so far from here, where Syracuse founded one of her colonies, [Akrai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akrai)!
Welcome to Palazzolo Acreide! I invite you to visit the Basilica of San Sebastiano, patron saint of the city.
The Greek Theater of [Akrai](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Akrai) is one of the most precious stone jewels of the whole island.
A stop at one of the city's historic pastry shops is a must, before leaving Palazzolo and Sicily: the prestigious Corsino pastry shop. Take your time here and the last Sicilian tastes! Hope my suggestions would be useful for you... See you soon, here in Sicily!