Sicily, Italy

Syracuse: Isola di Ortigia

The small island of Ortigia (Ortygia) is a must see when visiting the Sicilian provincial capital of Syracuse. Ortigia, a natural coastal fortress, is Syracuse’s historical center, and it brims with gorgeous cathedrals, piazzas, and fountains. Not to mention, it has some of the prettiest Lungomari (waterfronts) in Sicily, making possible a nice 2 mile coastal loop of the island. Ortigia is easily accessible from the train station, but there is also a big parking area on the northern tip of the island. From here, you can run counter-clockwise back towards the bridges, passing Piazza Emanuele Pancali and Porta Urbica before heading south through a park shaded by massive trees. Pass the Fountain of Arethusa, then turn LEFT to the east coast, running north past the Chiesa della Spirito Santo and Elio Vittorini Park before returning to the start.

Longer Option: Swoop inland on Corso Umberto to see some of the island’s landmarks — like the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Syracuse, and the Piazza Archimede— along your way. Can also be combined with the nearby Rossana Maiorca Bike Trail route (3.5 km north) with a few extra km on Riviera Dionisio Il Grande (which is not that nice for running).

Essentials
  • 3.2 km (2 miles) loop, with add-ons possible
  • 19 meters
  • Lungomare Parking Area
  • Siracusa Train Station