Anne & Tom's Italy Adventure 2011 travel blog

A square in Siracusa

Walking to the bus

The river that divides Siracusa from Ortigia (where we stayed)

A part of our hotel

With our local guide in the Archaeological Park

The Roman theater

An entrance for the actors

Coffins

The Greek theater

It is used today for Greek plays

On to another part of the Archaeological Park

Ear of Dionysius - completely carved from the hillside

Inside the cave of the Ear of Dionysius

It was rather damp

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An arty gate

Altar of Hieron II

Outside the Paolo Orsi Museum

A forbidden picture! Ancient coins.

Back on the island of Ortigia

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Thought that ship sunk

A big square with no nice restaurants

So we bought our lunch in a grocery/butcher shop

View from our hotel balcony

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We were on the top floor

Inside

Our anniversary lunch

The puppet theater

One of the scenes

One of the puppets

The puppeteers

Another puppet

Dinner with the group

Our 45th anniversary cake

Movie Clips - Playback Requirements - Problems?

(MP4 - 1.46 MB)

45th Anniversary

(MP4 - 4.34 MB)

Puppet Theater


Entry #17 June 4, 2011

Another early start (probably to beat the tourist crowds). We walked from our hotel to the bus and then were driven off to the Archaeological Park. The major structure is another Greek theater that was hewn from the hillside by slave labor in the 5th Century BC. This theater was host to many premiers of Greek tragedies and comedies. Today it still has performances of these timeless plays. Around the back of the theater is the gigantic stone quarry which forms the "Ear of Dionysius" that is a cave in the shape of an ear that is 75 feet high. Stone from this site was used in local construction and as more was extracted, the cave took shape. An aqueduct flows over the cave. In another part of of park is the Altar of Hieron II who duped the citizens into thinking he was a god by having a huge sacrifice where he ate the slaughtered and burned (Bar-B-Q) cows. At the Paolo Orsi Museum we left the group to discover on our own and be fascinated by the ancient civilization displays. No photographs were allowed in the museum, but Tom snuck one on his iPhone of ancient coins.

The bus brought us back to Ortigia, the island just across a wide river from Siracusa. We had the afternoon off, and since it was our 45th Wedding Anniversary, we found a shop, bought some wine, cheese, proshutto, melon, crackers and had an "at home" lunch in our spacious hotel room.

That evening before dinner with the group we all were treated to a traditional puppet show. The family is from a long line of puppeteers and while they all make the puppets perform in the show, each member has a specialty like making the costumes, building the puppets, and selecting/recording the music. This is almost a lost art and it was great to see the performance although we could not understand one word of the Italian dialogue. Dinner was at a nearby restaurant and Anne and Tom were presented with an anniversary cake and a "happy anniversary" song by the entire group. (see video)

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