10 HIDDEN JEMS IN SIRACUSA
#3 – The Ten Hidden Jems in Siracusa: The Graziella neighborhood
This is the heart of Siracusa’s historic center and it certainly had to be on the list. The Graziella is one of the most important and ancient areas in Ortigia. Quiet and out of any chronological schemes, if you find yourself wandering through the maze of its narrow streets you’ll be positively struck by the magic atmosphere that surrounds this neighborhood.
It seems as though time has never passed around here: you can still find small artisans’ shops, wineries, and bakeries. You can access the neighborhood both through Via De Benedictis, just behind the market, and via Vittoria Veneto. The name Graziella derives from the local fishermens’devotion to the Madonna delle Grazie (Mary of Graces).
Legend has it that, prior to going off to sea, the fishermen would gather together in the main square and pray before Mary’s statue that she would protect them. The architectural structure of the Graziella speaks volumes on the strong Arabic influence in Siracusa: this is a very original neighborhood made up of closed, tiny streets, squares and numberless courtyards.