This post is also available in: Italian

The city of Syracuse has always intrigued me.

This is where Archimedes (READ ALSO) was born, every child knows it!

History, antiquity, the roots of our civilization enclosed in a place not only still existing, but also full of life.

My first encounter with Syracuse was somewhat strange. I went there just after the Christmas and New Year holidays.

Bus from Catania, in the dark, which arrives so early in winter …

I got off the bus, my son and I took an ice cream and headed for Ortigia.

As soon as we were on the bridge, by a strange coincidence, my partner came to meet us, who was passing there just at that moment. Surprised to see us so suddenly he got us into a car and … the evening ended in Capomulini in one of the fish restaurants.

That time Syracuse did not want to show …

I never tried to go there again, but a few months after that first attempt there was another occasion.

A dear friend of mine and her partner spent their holidays in Italy.

They came to visit me in Catania and after a night of small talk, walks and a “taste” of the famous Catania nightlife (how surprised they were to find all these people on the streets on Monday night!) We decided that the next day to go to Syracuse .

We parked the car in some anonymous street, then a long walk through the narrow and tangled streets of the historic centre.

I still could not imagine what a miracle awaited me inside that ball of narrow streets and alleys … I still remember that moment: suddenly we were flooded with a white light, splendid and pure.

I look up and see a wonderful square that emits all this light, with its clear pavement, with its Cathedral so simple and elegant.

Yes, we were in Piazza Duomo in Syracuse, and it remains one of the best memories of my life.

A Sicilian cart and horse with its sad eyes, tourists, restaurants, souvenir and handicraft shops.

That day I saw many things there in Syracuse, but the splendour of the white square is unbeatable.

Accustomed to Catania with the black square, the streets in lava stone, with the dark buildings with some addition of white, I was not prepared for that overwhelming effect of white.

I have been to Syracuse several times since.

I had the opportunity to see its Cathedral from the inside, listen to a beautiful story of the conversion of a Greek temple into a Christian church, I admired the ancient columns still there, intact.

I got to be next to the famous fount of Arethusa and get to know the myths of a lost world. I admired the sea, the panorama and extraordinary landscapes.

I had fun in the pubs (yes, nightlife exists not only in Catania!) And I tasted the local cuisine. The pasta alla siracusana is one of my favourite dishes ever!

But even after all these adventures for me Syracuse still remains the city of white splendour, pure and overwhelming.