Siracusa ★★

A major capital of the Ancient Greek world where they still hold outdoor concerts in the ancient theater and the cathedral is grafted onto a Greek temple

    Why Siracusa?

    Siracusa (Syracuse to some) was settled by Greeks in 733 BC and was the major power in Sicily from 480 BC through the Roman occupation. (Siracusa history...)

    With a perfect location at the center of the Mediterranean world, the heritage of this powerful trading port has left the modern city with everything from fantastic ruins—including one of the world's largest intact Greek theaters—and a baroque old quarter to one of Italy's finest archaeological museums and the only stands of papyrus that grows in Europe (supposedly a gift from Egyptian ruler Ptolemy II).

    Siracusa makes a great base and good spot to slow down for a day or two, for while it has plenty of top-notch sights to keep you busy, it also sports a relaxed atmosphere, with pleasant cafes, seaside walks, and open-air restaurants to while away the hours.

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    How long should I spend in Siracusa?

    Siracusa is my favorite city in Sicily—and there's lots to see not only around town, but in the surrounding area as well.

    I'd give it at least an overnight, with a healthy two days of sightseeing on either side.

    Staying two nights would be even better.

    Useful Italian phrases

    Useful Italian for rail travel

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...train station la ferroviaria [or] la stazione lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah [or] lah stat-zee-YO-nay
    ticket un biglietto oon beel-YET-toh
    first class prima classe PREE-mah CLAH-say
    second class seconda classe say-CONE-dah CLAH-say
    one way solo andata SO-low ahn-DAHT-tah
    round trip (return) andata e ritorno ahn-DAH-tah ay ree-TOUR-noh
    Just the supplement Soltanto il supplemento soul-TAHN-toh eel sou-play-MEN-toh
    Just a seat reservation Soltanto una prenotazione soal-TAHN-toh oo-nah pray-no-tah-tsee-YOH-nay
    I have a Eurailpass Ho il Eurailpass oh eel YOO-rail-pahs
    sleeping couchette una cucetta oo-nah koo-CHET-tah
    berth in a sleeping car un posto nel vagone letto oon POH-sto nell vah-GOAN-nay LET-toh
    track binario been-AR-ree-yoh
    train treno TRE-no
    car (carriage) carozza ka-RO-tza
    seat posto PO-sto
    departures partenze par-TEN-zay
    arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay
    left luggage deposito bagagli day-PO-zee-toh ba-GAHL-yee
    punch your ticket timbrare il biglietto teem-BRA-ray eel beel-YET-toh
    Is this the right platform for the Rome train? E questo il binario per il treno à Roma? ay KWAY-sto eel been-AR-ree-yo pair eel TRE-no ah RO-ma? 
    delayed in retardo een ree-TAR-do
    strike sciopero SHO-pair-oh
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
    City / Train station names
    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Main station
    Rome Roma Termini
    Florence Firenze Santa Maria Novella
    Venice Venezia Santa Lucia
    Milan Milano Centrale
    Genoa Genova Porta Principe
    Naples Napoli Centrale
    Leghorn Livorno Centrale
    Turin Torino Porta Nuova

    Useful Italian for air travel

    English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)   Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
    the airport l'aeroporto LAHW-ro-port-oh
    the airplane l'aereo LAIR-reh-oh
    terminal terminal TEAR-me-nahl
    flight volo VOH-lo
    gate uscita d'imbarco oo-SHEE-tah deem-BARK-oh
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
    departures partenze par-TEN-zay
    arrivals arrivi ah-REE-vee
    delayed in ritardo een ree-TAR-doh
    on time in orario een oh-RAH-ree-yo
    early in avanti een ah-VAHN-tee
    boarding imbarco eem-BARK-o
    connecting flight la coincidenza la ko-een-chee-DEN-za
    check-in accettazione ah-chet-ta-zee-YO-nee
    immigration controllo passaporti cone-TRO-lo pah-sa-POR-tee
    security check controllo di sicurezza kohn-TRO-lo dee see-kur-AY-tzah
    customs dogana do-GA-na
    shuttle la navetta lah na-VET-tah
    boarding pass carta d'imbarco kart-ta deem-BARK-o
    baggage claim ritiro bagagli ree-TEER-oh bah-GA-lyee
    carry-on luggage bagaglio à mano bah-GA-lyo ah MA_no
    checked luggage bagalio bah-GA-lyo

    Useful Italian for car travel

    English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
    scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
    gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
    gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
    diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
    Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
    Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
    ...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
    ...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
    to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
    toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
    parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
    road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
    where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah

    Typical road signs / terms » more

    English (anglais) French (français) 
    Stop Stop
    Exit  Uscita
    Staffic light Semaforo
    One-way Senso unico
    Dead-end Strada senza uscita
    Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
    Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
    Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

    Basic phrases in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
    thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
    please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
    yes si see
    no no no
    Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
    I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
    I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
    How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
    That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
    Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
    Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
    Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
    Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
    Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
    Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
    Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
    ...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
    ...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
    to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
    to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
    straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
    information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

    Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
    When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
    At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
    Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
    Today oggi OH-jee
    Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
    Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
    a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
    Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
    Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
    Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
    Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
    Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
    Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
    Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
    Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
    Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
    Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
    a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
    January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
    February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
    March marzo MAR-tzoh
    April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
    May maggio MAH-jee-oh
    June giugno JEW-nyoh
    July luglio LOO-lyoh
    August agosto ah-GO-sto
    September settembre set-TEM-bray
    October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
    November novembre no-VEM-bray
    December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

    Numbers in Italian

    English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
    1 uno OO-no
    2 due DOO-way
    3 tre tray
    4 quattro KWAH-troh
    5 cinque CHEEN-kway
    6 sei say
    7 sette SET-tay
    8 otto OH-toh
    9 nove NO-vay
    10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
    11 undici OON-dee-chee
    12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
    13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
    14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
    15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
    16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
    17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
    18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
    19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
    20 venti VENT-tee
    21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
    22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
    23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
    30 trenta TRAYN-tah
    40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
    50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
    60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
    70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
    80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
    90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
    100 cento CHEN-toh
    1,000 mille MEEL-lay
    5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
    10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah

    * You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).