Ortigia oozes ancient history but hums with modern life. It bears some of the scars of the near-destruction of Sicily by the Mafia - thrown-together concrete high rises in the new town and the wholesale abandonment of existing housing. But much less than elsewhere. And Siracusa seems to be springing back, with sensitive regeneration of its remarkable old buildings. It always was a clever place. And breathtakingly beautiful. Train timetables are patchy but if you can manage it, forget about parking and catch the train to the pretty surrounding towns.
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