After a morning at leisure, we boarded a boat for an excursion around Ortygia. Brisk winds prevented us from circumnavigating the island, but our captain moored the boat in calm waters on the lee side of the bay, where the hardy among us (including one of the captain’s dogs) took a plunge into the cold water (“it’s freezing only until you go numb”). Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the captain broke out a splendid repast of Sicilian meats, cheeses, olives, caponata, and various other antipasti. We were in maritime heaven.
Evening found us, once again, in Siracusa’s ancient Greek theater, this time to take in a performance of Aeschylus’ Suppliants. What could have been a rather dry re-creation of the speech-heavy original play was instead an entrancing spectacle of costuming, music, song, and dance, which combined to tell the story of Danaus and his fifty daughters seeking asylum in Greece. We may not have understood the words of the Italian script, but we were mesmerized by the sights and sounds—by the enchantment of experiencing an ancient Greek play in an ancient Greek theater. It was magical!