Europe’s oldest church is an add-on to a former Temple to Athena; Catholic style draws upon the Greek more obviously when the two are juxtaposed. Food delicacies include sardines, pistachio, imaginative use of bread crumbs, unparalleled swordfish, smoked tuna, zucchini, sweet and sour pumpkin, fennel, and as in the Arab world the line between the meal and the sweets is not as firm as the French have tried to make it. Most of all, the ricotta stands out. Order a pasta “norma” style, with ricotta on top, and then have ricotta for dessert too.
Depopulation is evident, even in the beautiful areas near the sea on Ortigia. Fifty years from now, will it be empty, a crowded tourist theme park, ruled by Chinese capital, or full of Tunisians? Is the embedded cultural capital in current Siracusan society positive or negative in value? Is mobility equalizing average rates of return?
No one seems to mind that most of the art museum is rotting away. Ordinary life here has very little to do with the internet. The cats are skinny and fearful. The visit is splendid.