The best way to see the island of Ortigia is just to wander. It’s difficult to get lost (it measures just 1km by 500 meters and has lots of little streets that all look the same), but packed with over 2,500 years of history. We often come here at night as its a great place to soak up some Italian nightlife, wander past the harbor showcasing the yachts and sailing boats of the elite and also drop by the famous fountain of youth (La Fonte Aretusa). Half a dozen Greek poets wrote the tale of the nymph Arethusa, who was bathing in the Alpheus River in Greece one day when the god of that river took a liking to her. She begged for deliverance from his advances, and Artemis in pity turned the nymph into a spring, allowing her to escape underground. She traveled under the sea to emerge here, in Siracusa. Alpheus, though, was hot on her heels, and came gushing out in the same spot, mingling his waters with hers for eternity. Apparently this, to the Greeks, was romantic. They used to say you could toss a goblet into a spring at Arcadia in Greece and it would pop up here.
Torcello, the final leg on our Venetian Island tour is a quiet and sparsely populated island with plenty of green space. The island boast a long 15 minute walking path from the main dock which leads to the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Isola di Torcello. This beautiful, primitive church was founded in 639 A.D. and subsequently rebuilt in the 11th century. Just beyond the church you'll find a beautiful and serene canal which is the perfect picnic hideaway.
Continue to Isola Tiberina (Tiber Island) to find the ancient Ponte Fabriano and the church of San Bartolomeo. In the heart of Trastevere, visit the Basilica of Santa Cecilia and the church of San Crisogono, where remains of a church built in the 4th century were discovered in the early 20th century.