Ortygia - Abbey Travel, Ireland

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Welcome to Ortygia


The Ponte Nuova(New Bridge) connects the mainland city of Syracuse to the island of Ortygia, where most of the area's worthy sights are located. The remains of the Temple of Apollo are sited in the Piazza Pancali: this is the oldest Greek temple in Sicily, built in the Doric style around 565 BC. The cathedral in the nearby Piazza Duomo is uniquely made up of the original walls of a 5th-century BC Greek temple known as the Athenaion, and near the sea, reached along Via Capodieci, is the mythical Spring of Arethusa. There are medieval relics on the island too, including Maniaces Castle dating from the 11th Century. Apart from the many historic sights, the island of Ortygia also offers numerous boutiques and craft shops, and restaurants and cafes galore. Several hours are required to explore the island fully.

Information & Facts

The official language of Italy is Italian. English is understood in the larger cities but not in the more remote parts of the country.

The Euro (EUR) is the official currency, which is divided into 100 cents. Those arriving in Italy with foreign currency can obtain Euros through any bank, ATM or bureaux de change. ATMs are widespread. Travellers cheques can be exchanged with ease in the large cities, not so in the smaller towns. Credit cards are accepted in upmarket establishments and shops around the cities. Banks are closed on weekends, but tend to have better rates than casas de cambios.

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