L'Approdo delle Sirene

Siracusa, Sicily, Italy Book from Book from £74 per night

Shipshape B&B on the waterfront of Ortigia, the seagirt historic centre of Siracusa, with charming owners and roof terrace
Set on two sunny floors of a waterfront palazzo overlooking Siracusa’s little harbour, this family-run B&B is good value, has a great location and abundant breakfasts of fresh fruit and delectable pastries. The breakfast room and adjacent roof terrace planted with cacti and bougainvillea overlook the harbour.

But what really sets L’Approdo delle Sirene apart are the owners, mother Fiora Piccone and son Gianmarco: relaxed, cheerful, fluent in English and genuinely devoted to making their guests as comfortable as possible without being intrusive (they live in the apartment across the hall). They’ll make informed restaurant recommendations, introduce you to other B&Bs in Sicily, make sure that you're looked after if you get stuck, and hold cookery courses on request too, which could be the highlight of your trip. As for the eight rooms, they're fresh, spruce, simple and understated, thanks to the whitewashed walls, gleaming parquet floors and striped upholstery.

Highs

  • Well-priced waterside location on the edge of Ortigia, right across the bridge from the new town and handy for public transport
  • Friendly, helpful service with advice at hand on all aspects of Siracusa and Sicily
  • Breakfasts of homemade cakes, tarts, artisan pastries and carefully chosen fresh fruit, with fresh Sicilian cannoli on Sundays
  • Lunches, dinners (delicious) and cookery courses available on request from owner Fiora Piccione
  • Bikes on the house

Lows

  • Some rooms are a little small, only two actually have sea views, and attic rooms only have skylights
  • Décor isn't the latest word in style
  • Availability can be a problem

Best time to go

Spring or autumn are the best times to go. July and August can get extremely hot and busy. It's warm enough to swim in the sea until the beginning of November, and the weather can be splendid in winter.

Our top tips

Fiora and Gianmarco can organise guided tours of historical sites and local towns on request - they can tailor an itinerary to help you get the most out of your visit.

Great for...

Beach
Cheap & Chic
Family
Foodie
  • Boutique B&B
  • 8
  • Breakfast (+ other meals on request)
  • All ages welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Bicycles Available
  • Elevator
Room:

Rooms

The eight light-flooded and high-ceilinged rooms, set on 2 floors, have polished parquet floors, wood-beamed ceilings, whitewashed walls, ensuite bathrooms with walk-in showers, and matching striped upholstery on bedspread and curtains that adds a nautical touch. The fabric in each room is different, with colour schemes ranging from blue and olive, or restrained stone and slate, to jaunty egg-yolk yellow and scarlet in the attic room, where we stayed. Unusually for Sicily, a kettle and a selection of teas are provided.

The most spacious room is room 4, on the corner of the building with 2 balconies; but rooms 2, 3 and 5, each of which has a little balcony, are also a good size. Rooms 2 and 3 overlook a tree-lined street; rooms 4 and 5 have sea views - and these are the ones to go for if possible. Rooms 1 & 6 have a courtyard view; the cheapest rooms are 7 & 8, the two attic doubles with a skylight window and no view.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Extra beds
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Phone
  • Safe box
  • Terrace
  • Tv
  • WiFi

Eating

Breakfast is served in the glass-fronted breakfast room which overlooks the bay. In summer you can also take breakfast on the small roof terrace alongside. Every morning Fiora, a member of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina (and whose traditional recipes have graced cookbooks), makes a cake or crostata (a tart filled with fruit or jam), while Gianmarco buys fresh bread and pastries from a local bakery. Add hams and cheese, yoghurt, cereal, pancakes with maple syrup, hard-boiled eggs, and an array of fresh fruit, and you may not need lunch. Scrambled eggs can be cooked to order. Drinks include fresh coffee and tea, we had thick hot chocolate and you can also squeeze your own orange juice. On Sundays tuck into cannoli, tubes of crisp deep-fried pastry filled with fresh, sweetened ricotta.

Lunches and dinners cooked by Fiora are available on request, and offer a chance to sample typical dishes such as caponata, parmigiana and sarde a beccafico. True foodies should book one of her Sicilian cooking courses which include a trip to the market and learning about local wines.

Otherwise, ask for recommendations and try one of the many fish restaurants and traditional trattorie in Ortigia: Al Mazari near the Piazza Duomo is a favourite, we liked Dassena next door. Fiora's other son, Friedrich, has opened a charcoal grill & pizza restaurant, Piano B in the 'new town' across the bridge.

Features include:

  • Breakfast
  • Children meals
  • Coffee tea making
  • Dinner by arrangement
  • Lunch by arrangement
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Wander around the pretty peninsular town of Ortigia, the historic heart of Siracusa, with its fabulous cathedral, Greek ruins, fortress, ancient buildings, narrow alleys and waterfront walks

  • Bikes are available for free, if you prefer to explore on 2 wheels

  • Book in for a cookery course with Fiora, who will introduce you "with passion and cheerfulness" to the culinary arts of Sicily

  • Embark on a boat trip around Ortigia

  • Visit the vast archaeological park on the "mainland" town (a 15-minute walk). It contains the remains of the ancient Greek and Roman cities (theatres, quarries etc). Time it right and you can see a play staged in the Greek theatre (May-June)

  • Enjoy lazy days in the coastal nature reserve of Vendicari, with its stunning beaches (some accessible on foot only) and bird-watching

  • Head off on a day trip to the Unesco-listed Baroque towns of Noto (the nearest, 45 minutes' drive away), Modica, Scicli and Ragusa

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Birdwatching
  • Boat trips
  • Cooking classes
  • Cycling
  • Hiking
  • Historical sites
  • Museums / galleries
  • Plantlife / flora
  • Private guided tours
  • Shopping / markets
  • Swimming

Kids

Children of all ages are welcome, and parents will appreciate the relaxed ambiance. There's nothing at the hotel for kids so it's best for a short stay for the sights of Siracusa (which children will enjoy). Note that only one room category (the two Attic Doubles) can take an extra bed or baby cot and that there are no bathtubs.

Family friendly accommodation:

The Attic Doubles, numbers 7 & 8, are large enough to take an extra bed or baby cot. These rooms only have skylights. You can also take numbers 6 (courtyard view) & 7 (attic) together as these are opposite each other with an extra door for more privacy.

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available by arrangement, see Rates.

Children's meals:

There's plenty of options at breakfast to satisfy the fussiest of eaters - fruit, yoghurt, cereal, pastries, cake, hard-boiled eggs and hams.

Kids Activities nearby:

  • Explore ancient ruins such as the Castello on Ortigia and archaeological park in the main part of the town
  • Tiny funfair 10 minutes stroll along the waterfront, great for younger kids
  • Older ones may like the Archimedes Museum
  • Take a boat trip
  • Go for the day to nearby beaches

Distances:

  • Airport: 1 hour
  • Hospital: 10 minutes
  • Shop: 2 minutes
Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 14 independent reviews from i-escape guests

9/10
Rooms
9/10
Food
9/10
Service
9/10
Value
9/10
Overall

Staff very responsive and helpful. Good breakfast buffet with great views. Perfect location. It was nice to have a fridge and tea-making facilities. A very nice stay.

9/10, , April 2017

Comfortable, with the best location in Ortigia.

10/10, , January 2017

Nice light room with "sea view". Unfortunately there was no electricity in the whole town on the second morning (which we were warned about the previous evening). Good breakfast on the roof terrace. Very central & easy to reach the sights & restaurants in Ortygia

7/10, , October 2016

A unique building in a perfect location, with wonderful service.

8/10, , September 2016

It's a great place to stay. Perfectly located on the water in Ortigia. The staff are super helpful but are also pretty relaxed. The breakfasts are excellent with fruit and home baked cakes and pastries. The terrace is a lovely place to sit and eat. It's easy to get to a beautiful beach. Fontane Bianche by train from Syracuse station. 12 minutes and really easy to use the buses to visit other parts of the island. The staff will look online for times etc. We didn't actually hire a car in the end. The market is every morning so great for getting picnic stuff if you are heading to the beach for the day. Just check train times back as they are not that frequent. Loved it. It's informal but cool. Ortigia itself is perfectly picturesque with lots of excellent places to eat. We found some of the best more modern Italian places off the tourist walks so definitely worth mooching around the winding backstreets.

10/10, , August 2016

Great location, breakfast on rooftop terrace was delicious

9/10, , May 2016

One of the nicest places that we have ever stayed in. The family and staff were very friendly and helpful, our rooms were lovely especially no. 5 with a little balcony overlooking the harbour/port area and the breakfast was amazing with fresh orange juice, fresh fruit and delicious home-baked pastries every day. They even baked a vegan cake especially for my daughters. We would thoroughly recommend a stay here.

10/10, , April 2016

We really enjoyed our stay at L'Approdo delle Sirene. The location was perfect and the owner and staff were welcoming and helpful. Breakfast was a buffet which included delicious local cheeses and cold meat, pastries and lovely fresh fruit. A perfect start to the day.Ortigia is lovely with traditional buildings and winding narrow streets. we loved getting "lost" and the fact that nowhere is far. Plazza del Duomo is breathtaking and we never tired of its beauty.The Ortigia restaurants offer fantastic fresh and very tasty food. We absolutely loved this are of Siracusa and we hope to return some day. It was a perfect introduction to Sicily.

10/10, , October 2015

The hotel is in a brilliant position and the people working there are delightful - really helpful and fun. Could do with a spruce up over the winter - shower especially. We would definitely stay there again.

8/10, , October 2015

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay here. The staff were extremely friendly and helpful suggesting local sites to visit, restaurants and excursions. We enjoyed our day cooking with Fiora so much that we booked another day with her. Breakfast is excellent as were the two evening meals we had there. The B&B is well situated for visiting Ortigia and the surrounding area and we intend to visit again. <br>The only very small complaint would be that the room required a little maintenance. It is however the end of their season and when we requested the TV to be fixed and a new bulb in the bathroom it was done immediately. We stayed in a courtyard view room which was fine but another time I would request a room with more of a view. All in all a very enjoyable holiday.

10/10, , October 2015

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Rates for L'Approdo delle Sirene