Before leaving Siracuse, after a big hotel breakfast, we stopped in at the centrally-located Archaeological Park. This section of the city contains some of the major remains of Greek and Roman buildings left in the area.
First up was a badly weathered Roman amphitheatre followed by the quarry from which the stone to build the city had been excavated in ancient times, and then the Greek stadium. Continuing further into the park we turned in to see the Greek amphitheatre and were stopped and asked for tickets which were supposedly on sale back at the park entrance. Eventually we retraced our steps to the entrance, recrossed the busy street, crossed the intersection to the souvenir stalls (100 meters of them) and, 50 meters past that, came upon the ticket booth for the Greek theatre, by now a half a kilometre away. Convulsed by Italian organizational skills, we bought yet more souvenirs, found the car and got out of Dodge.
We were relieved to see on the way home that Etna continued to slumber.
Etna dormant, from the Autostrade west of Catania
Umbrella pine. Not native to Italy, legend has it that it was imported from the Middle East to provide shade for marching legionnaires on the long, straight Roman roads.