*Ortigia is a small island which is the historical centre of the city of Syracuse, Sicily.
Ortygia is enchanting; it lures you to get lost in its small straits and challenge you to discover all its hidden secrets. We had arrived late in the afternoon while we were traveling in southern Italy. Despite all the tiredness and humidity we immediately started to wander around. A girl told us not to miss visiting “iBotia”, the local wine bar and one of the precious little secrets of the old town of Ortygia.
Somewhere at the beginning of Via Cavour, a well-known street for marvelous food choices, a vintage aesthetic lobby on the alley awaits you and shows you that there, across the street, is the entrance of iBotia, hidden, secret. A modest room with plain decoration and bottles of wine laid all over the place. Three tables are set just in the entrance, you go down two stairs and you are at the main table overlooking the bar and the open kitchen. The Superman chef always eager to welcome you and the employees willing to serve you and explain to you in plain English, almost everything. Cuisine with Italian finesse and light, more modern tastes without exaggeration, right there for us to enjoy after our walk around.
For starters, classic Italian, an espresso, after caffeine and the notes of bitter espresso, a measuring cup of sweet Diplomatico rum to sweeten and balance our palate and warm us up to make our walk even more enjoyable as we already made an appointment for dinner a few hours later. The delicious Diplomatico gave us the necessary relaxation and the flavors game gave us a pleasant feeling of warmth in this wonderful city.
A few hours later here we were, back to iBotia to enjoy the local cuisine, tasting this time, Calzone with homemade dough, homemade pasta with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes (the Sicilians are really proud of their most delicious tomato - and I think they should), salmon with lime, risotto with vegetables and their local specialties, horse fillet. Exciting cuisine, with impeccable execution and combinations of flavors that will delight you in discovering local cuisine. Our plates were accompanied by local white wine from the village of Corleone of a local variety.
For dessert, what else than Tiramisu, just excellent! Slightly different than we got used to, you just needed to pound the espresso mousy that had just poured out of the espresso coffee machine, onto the dessert. As a farewell, just like the warm welcome, a scoop of sweet rum, Diplomatico was needed. Ortigia gave us numerous nice pictures and flavors that made us want to stay there. We will definitely come back to this beautiful place and we will pay a second visit to iBotia for sure!