Visiting Sicily

Let our knowledgeable on-site staff help you plan your trip to Syracuse, Sicily, Italy. Below we provide information on accommodations and hotels, eating and restaurants, and tourism, compiled by on-site staff living in Sicily. If you would like any more specific information, please reach out to us!

Getting to Syracuse, Sicily

The closest airports to Syracuse are the Catania-Fontanarossa Airport (airport code: CTA) and the Comiso Airport (airport code: CIY), with CTA being the larger international airport. Visitors have various options for getting from the airport to the downtown Syracuse, which takes 45 minutes from CTA and 1 hour and 30 minutes from CIY.

Car: Within the airport terminals, visitors can find all the main car rental agencies. The route from CTA simply follows the south-bound motorway (Autostrada 339 Catania-Siracusa) up to the the Siracusa Sud access. If renting a car from CIY, we recommend booking the additional sat nav service, as simply following road signs can be confusing.

Bus: From CTA, the Blu Line Interbus offers regular service to Syracuse. The ticket office is next to the airport exit. From CIY there is a shuttle service to CTA, from which one may then take the same bus line.

Taxi: You may book a discounted advance taxi ride with Consorzio Taxisti Siracusani by calling: +39 06 99 33 05 55. Discounted rates run €50 – €70 based on the number of passengers.

Train: Sicilian rails connect all the main cities, including Syracuse, Catania, Ragusa, Messina, Agrigento and Palermo. Visitors traveling by train arrive at the FS Railway Station of Siracusa. For more train information see: www.trenitalia.com.

Five Stars

Hotel Des Etrangers: Refined, art nouveau lodging, plus a rooftop bar, a pool & a posh restaurant with sea views.

Grand Hotel Ortigia: Built in the late 19th Century, this grand hotel is set across from the Mediterranean Sea, and is a 3 minute walk from the Temple of Apollo and 2.1 km from the Roman Amphitheatre.

Grand Hotel Minareto: Set inside the Plemmerio Marine Nature Reserve, this hotel offers refined rooms and suites, plus 2 elegant restaurants, a clifftop terrace & a private beach.

Four Stars

Algilà: Antiques-filled rooms and suites in high-end, sea-view lodging with fine dining and free breakfast.

Hotel Roma: Bright rooms in an upscale hotel offering a restaurant, plus free Wi-Fi, breakfast and bike use.

Hotel Mercure: Warmly decorated property with Mediterranean dining and an outdoor pool, plus free Wi-Fi and parking.

Three Stars

Hotel Gutkowsky: Simple, quaint and highly individual, Hotel Gutkowski is the kind of place real travellers are hoping to find.

Domus Mariae: This relaxed guesthouse, set in a stately palace and convent from the 1300s, is across the street from the seafront, a 4 minute walk from the ancient Temple of Apollo and 1.2 km from 13th-century Castello Maniace.

Hotel Teocrito: This relaxed hotel is 10 minutes’ walk from the Archaeological Park Neapolis and 1.6 km from both the Greek Theatre of Syracuse, which dates from the 5th century BC, and the Ear of Dionysius cave.

Bed and Breakfast

Re Bafè: Located in Siracusa, 600 metres from Porto Piccolo and 1.2 km from Archaeological Park of Neapolis. Each room has a flat-screen TV.

Palazzo del Sale: Offers Syracuse B&B accommodations in Ortygia within a 5 minute walk of Fonte Aretusa and Cathedral of Syracuse. Salt, or “White Gold” as it was formerly known, is where the name of this building derives.

Giuggiulena: Clinging to the cliff rock from which it’s named, “Giuggiulena” is a house that is set apart, a shelter of serenity and natural beauty overlooking the water accompanied by the waves and the moon. Rooms enjoy a view of the big harbor creek and Ortigia is a simple 20 minute walk away.

Near the Syracuse Academy

Olivia Natural Bistrot: Perfect for those seeking a light, healthy, energizing, vegetarian meal.

Agorà: A wide range of Sicilian traditional dishes.

Gusto Gourmet: One of the favorite lunch stops for locals.

Near Piazza Duomo

Don Camillo: One of Ortygia’s most elegant restaurants, Don Camillo specializes in sterling service and innovative Sicilian cuisine.

Il Cenacolo: A hidden gem: great pizza al fresco on a tiny piazza in Siracusa.

Trattoria O’Scinà: Offers typical Sicilian cuisine in a cozy, warm environment, ideal for romantic dinners, but also for business meetings and family outings.

Near the Ponte Umbertino

Tentacoli e Cozze: As the name may suggest, specialties are clams, mussels and octopus.

L’antica Locanda: Renowned by the locals for its seafood couscous and fresh fish dishes.

Le Sette Spezie: One of the best pizzas in town, also offers a broad variety of traditional Sicilian dishes.

By the Sea

Ristorante Jonico – A rutta e ciauli: Enchanting view over the cliffs and the island of Ortygia. Dining on the terrace of this seafood restaurant is a truly breathtaking experience.

La Terrazza sul Mare: This rooftop terrace restaurant offers one of the best sunset views in the city, as well as local seasonal cuisine at its best.

Spizzica al Vecchio Lavatoio: Located next to the Fonte Aretusa in Ortygia, this restaurant offers an enticing view over the port. The secret charm of this restaurant however lies within its underground chamber, known as the “Old Laundry” filled with beautiful statues and fountains.

Resources

Siracusa Turismo: For further details and suggestions about the area and an up-to-date local events magazine.

Lonely Planet – Syracuse: Guide to Syracuse by Lonely Planet.

Siracusamente Things to do in Syracuse: Advice on the best places to go by day and night in Syracuse, written by the people of Syracuse.

Tours

Ortigia Free walking tour: This service is offered by a local tourist agency and runs seasonally, call in advance to ensure the weekly tours are on offer.

Siracusa Open Tour: This “Hop on / Hop off” bus tour drives you through the historical island of Ortygia and the archaeological area of Syracuse, while a guide describes the surrounding sights and monuments.

Tickets & Passes

Archaeological Museum: One of the largest archaeological museums in southern Italy and ancient Greek artifacts collection in the world. The centerpiece of the museum collection is without a doubt the beautiful Venere Landolina statue.

The Catacombs of San Giovanni: Access to the second most extensive catacomb network, as well as one of the oldest Christian churches in the world.

Archaeological Park: Syracuse’s Archaeological Park contains the town’s most important Greek and Roman buildings, including the majestic Greek Theater, the Roman amphitheater, the Dyonisus’ Ear cave and the Latomie del Paradiso quarry.

Transportation

To get around Siracusa and the surrounding region visitors have two public transportation choices: AST urban transportation service, or the very comfortable mini-bus called “Siracusa d’amare” – we recommend the latter. The first line connects all the districts of Syracuse, as well as the sea areas; the second one is limited to the area of Ortygia and the archaeological and tourist areas.

“Siracusa D’amare” Mini-Buses: These are small, grey, electric mini-buses with a heart-shaped logo on the side, with bus stops marked with a white totem. Buses run every day 7am to 10pm, with a nighttime weekend bus option. For a map of the routes see here.

AST Bus Service: AST is good for travel outside of the historical center, including to surrounding beaches. Buses are large and white, and make frequent stops. For a list of all the bus lines see here.

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.