Walking along a busy, dirty, going-nowhere sort of road called Via Elorina in Siracusa, lined with derelict buildings and some scruffy stores, an open space was revealed on my right, behind a length of paint-peeled railings.
A gate was propped open so I went in, my feet brushing through the long grass.
To my amazement, I found myself standing in the Ginnasio Romano, an ancient site that was discovered 150 years ago and is estimated to date from between 200BC and 200AD.
Theories about its origins vary, but a distinctly 21st century information board (I use the word ‘information’ very loosely) advised me that it could either have been a Roman curia, a kind of district office for the Pope, or a sanctuary of votive offerings to Oriental deities.
What an extraordinary place to have stumbled across. I walked around the small site, about the size of a football pitch…
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