Syracuse, called Siracusa by Italians, is a historic city located in the south eastern corner of Sicily along the Ionian Sea. Along with its warm, sunny, Mediterranean climate and many scenic beaches and coves with crystal clear water located in the area, this town is very popular among tourists, especially during the summer months.
The city was founded by the ancient Greek Corinthians, and as a result has a lot of interesting Greek history and culture. The Nacropolis of Pantalica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains several ancient Greek ruins, including a large amphitheatre. Other tourist attractions include the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Amphitheatre, and the Piazza Duomo. Also, this town is the birthplace of the famous engineer and mathematician, Archimedes. There is a technological park in Syracuse, which contains many artifacts and replicas of Archimedes' inventions, such as catapults and pulleys.
Syracuse is also made up of the tiny "old town" island of Ortygia. This island, joined onto the mainland by a short bridge, has many interesting cafes, restaurants, shops, and churches as well as the main harbour. Arethusa Fountain, or the "fountain of the ducks" is a popular and lovely attraction on the island. It is an enclosed, freshwater stream located right next the sea, where many ducks live and papyrus plants grow.
Syracuse is located close to Mount Etna, which is one of the only active volcanoes in Europe. There are several tour bus companies that offer tours to the summit of this volcano.
There are several hostels in Syracuse, offering both dorm and private rooms. Most of these offer both ensuite and shared bathrooms. These are located in the city centre area, near the train station. Syracuse is very well connected to other cities in Sicily. The main train and bus station is located in the city centre. There are regular train and bus services to Catania, Taormina, and Medina in the north and Palermo in the west.
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