The drive from Ragusa to Siracusa/Ortigia is fairly easy. It’s when you get to Ortigia and try and find a parking space that problems arise. Not being familiar with the policies (but having been warned they were less than favorable), I contacted my host at at he booking.com property where I stayed 2 nights. My host was very helpful and even came to where I was at the Marina to help me with the parking situation; more than half of the parking that is allowed on the island is reserved for residents.
While I was waiting for my host to walk over to where I was, I noticed the local parking police handing out tickets (I’m not kidding) like they were napkins being given away at a pie-eating contest. I ended up parking for the duration of my stay at Riva della Posta, a public parking lot that holds about 200 hundred cars, and was only a 10 minute walk from my lodging. There is nothing on Ortigia that is more than a 15 minute walk to anything else.
I had nothing ‘wine’ (read: business) related on Ortigia, I simply wanted to have a few days to catch up after having not had any WiFi for 5 days – I still had a lot of rescheduling to do, and I hate the feeling that comes with not being caught up. And, quite honestly, I just wanted to be a tourist for 2 days as Ortigia has a lot of history, ancient ruins, etc. to see.
Having said that, I did manage to find a great place for an old wine geek like myself, restaurant Don Camillo. This place has a great selection of fairly priced wines, the setting is in a centuries old building, and the service and food were top notch. Remember that this is a very, very slow time for tourism on Ortigia so your experience could vary if you’re there during peak season. I felt like a king in here, and I really appreciated the chance to geek out looking at all of the bottles they had (yes, I got more than a few strange looks as I did, but I’m used to that by now).
Street photography, candid shots of people and/or things in the course of everyday life (and I had the benefit of being there mid-week, so even fewer tourists (more locals) than usual), is something I enjoy. I’m pretty choosy though, or at least I like to think I am, about what I’ll photograph. Some things might look good, but don’t make very interesting photos. I hope I grabbed a few that you’ll enjoy, but before I do, I should also mention that I ate at restaurant O’Scina as well (not nearly the setting and wine list that Don Camillo had, but good food and some decent and well priced wines, too), and managed to find some good gelato at Bel Bon ( Via della Amalfitania, 14, the best Pistacchio gelato I’ve ever had) . Too bad for me, that gelso fruit was not in season, for I would have loved to have gotten to try a granita di gelso.
Thankfully I was able to arrive on Ortigia and find a parking space with at least a little daylight left in the sky.
The next day I got a few shots of the locals visiting the fresh food markets or just enjoying a lunch hour by the sea.
Next up is my 4 days in Randazzo, in the heart of Etna’s wine country.