These days, Siracusa is a vibrant and bustling city of about 125,000 people. Tourism and agriculture are important elements of the economy. The surrounding countryside is punctuated with olives, almonds and, of course, the lemon groves which produce more than 30% of Italy’s lemons.
The old part of the city is centred on the small island of Ortigia, with its lively, narrow cobbled streets. This is where, legend has it, Archimedes’ inventions destroyed the invading Roman fleet.
Framed by the limestone bluffs of the Monti Iblei, the city, while now decidedly modern in parts, retains its ancient charm, enriched by significant archaeological remains.
You can still buy a traditional Seltz from kiosks in the street, on a hot Summer’s day – salt, freshly squeezed lemons and soda water – perfect to reinvigorate tired limbs and hot foreheads.