Going Underground in Siracusa

Leave a comment Standard

Piazza Duomo.jpg

Siracusa has a beautiful piazza surrounding its duomo – some say the prettiest in Europe. It is a wonderful place to sit out with a gelato and watch the world go by.  At night, there are entertainers – musicians and even ballroom dancers.

But today, we decided to take a look at what is going on UNDERNEATH the piazza.

The Ipogeo di Piazza Duomo is a series of underground tunnels and water cisterns dating back centuries – carved into the rock.

We climbed down, down, down – avventura!

tunnels.jpg

tunnel 2

The tunnels were used as an air raid shelter during the Allied (US and England) bombing of Siracusa in 1943. They had pictures showing what it looked like during this time.  How scary it must have been not knowing what was happening up above.

air raid shelter.jpg

The exhibit said that the citizens escaped into the tunnels as the first bombs starting dropping. When they came out a few days later, their first sight was that the harbor was now full of enemy (to them) ships.

tunnel exit

The tunnel let out at the Porto Grande – this time to the sight of very big yachts (check out the helicopter!). Enza tried to talk them into letting us take a look, but they said no.

Enza e Franco (yacht)

The port is lined with outside cafes, where you can sit under umbrellas and watch the boats go by with an aperitivo. By the way, in Sicily, an aperitivo isn’t necessarily alcoholic.  Our favorite non-alcoholic drink is crodino, which is a bitter orange drink.  It comes in little bottles, and they serve it just like a cocktail, complete with an orange slice.

crodino.jpg

Soon – another interesting site, as the Greenpeace ship from their TV show “Sea Shepherd” appeared.

Sea Shepherd 2.jpg

We watched them try their hand at Mediterranean Mooring (Frank and I can appreciate from our many times chartering in Europe – it is not always easy!).  They had a pilot boat lead them in and took a very long time – at least 45 minutes.

Sea Shepherd.jpg

I thought it was funny – the Greenpeace boat is a little dinged up, and the crew was a little raggedy, with t-shirts and tattoos (although, to their credit – they had been saving whales).  The giant yachts around them are spit-spot, with uniformed crews.  The Greenpeace boat had one tiny fender out as they backed in, while the big yachts were fully protected, all hands on deck.

You see a little bit of everything in Sicily!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s