Siracusa in Sicily, Italy

May 24, 2018 - Sea Cloud

Everywhere you turn in Siracusa, you find ancient stones. “Dig here,” said our guide, “and you will hit treasures.” Siracusa is one of the richest cities in terms of ancient art and history. Christian churches stand next to Greek, Roman, and Medieval styles. This morning at the Archaeological Park of Neapolis we find some of the most important monuments of the Greco-Roman era: the Altar of Hieron II, the Greek Theater and the stone quarries situated at the foot of the theater, the curious Dionysius’ Ear, and the massive Roman amphitheater.

As spectacular as the ruins are, Siracusa is not simply a monument to the past—it also has a vibrant modern culture. And this morning some of us opted to join a market walk through Ortygia with Hotel Manager Simon Kwinta (Simon is nearly finished writing a book about his 32 years of service aboard Sea Cloud.) An afternoon walking tour of Ortygia’s Old Town took us to visit the cathedral of Il Duomo and the church of St. Lucia, which houses Caravaggio’s masterpiece, “Burial of St.Lucia.” With Sea Cloud docked all evening in Ortygia, National Geographic Photographer Massimo Bassano led an after dark tour of the Old Town when the buildings are beautifully illuminated and the streets and cafes are alive with activity.

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About the Author

Elissa Marton

Elissa Marton

About the Photographer

Massimo Bassano

National Geographic Photographer

Massimo Bassano has worked as a freelance photojournalist since 1990. His work appears in National Geographic Traveler and National Geographic online edition, as well as many publications throughout Europe. Massimo's photographic subjects know no bounds—his recent assignments have covered social issues, international travel, fitness and health, fashion, and portraiture. In 2004, he was awarded a Ph.D. in journalism from the Italian Association of Journalism.

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