It is easy to tell from the scorching temperatures that summertime has arrived in Siracusa! And though this heat wave’s intensity is nothing compared to Summer 2021, the blistering weather has inspired Italy’s Meteorological Society to name it Cerberus, after ancient Greek mythology’s Hound of Hades. This monstrous hound guards the underworld’s gates so the dead cannot return to Earth. It has many heads, a serpentine tail, and snakes slithering out of its body. If you prefer weather patterns over myths, the influx of this sultry air is caused by a North African anticyclone. Either way, keeping yourself hydrated and safe from the excessive heat while you enjoy your vacation is essential.  

If you want a well-air-conditioned space that offers vegan food and plenty of shopping, consider visiting the Belvedere Mall (Parco Commercial Belvedere). This local shopping center is an easy 23-minute drive from Ortigia and can be reached by bus routes 25 or 26. 

I love poke tacos 2

This dog-friendly mall has almost 70 shops that range from plant-based shoes to clothing that fits every budget, vegan-friendly cosmetics, electronics & games, jewelry, many areas for children to play, and much more. 

belvedere mall almond milk cappuccino

I like to start my visit at the Gelateria Bianca, which offers two creamy soy-based gelatos and several refreshing fruit and almond-based granita flavors. Panicunzatualso offers granita and sweet local almond milk, perfect for a cappuccino. And when it is time for lunch, I❤️Poke is excellent. They make healthy, delicious customizable Hawaiian bowls. You can choose from about a dozen vegetables, several vegan proteins, and a couple sauces that include vegan mayo. They also offer small but tasty hummus tacos. And if you need to stock up on some vegan meat or dairy-free yogurt, the large Spazio CONAD grocery store has plenty to offer. With a little bit of effort, you may also find some vegan options in the store’s deli/cafe. 

Belvedere mall gelato

The nearby DECATHLON sporting goods store offers excellent prices and a vast selection of clothing and fitness equipment. For just 12€, I got my swimming booties here, which are ideal for protecting my feet from the volcanic rock surrounding the solarium and beaches. If you forgot any workout gear at home, don’t worry, you will find what you need here! 

aretus water park

If lounging in the water is your favorite way to cool down, check out the Aretusa Water Park (Parco Aretusa). The Park opens at 9:30 and is perfect for families, couples, and friends. With 17 water attractions, including the Giant Toboggan, Black Cannons, and the Big River, five kids’ slides and water games, seven relaxation areas to unwind, and four refreshment and snack bars, everyone will be happy they chose the water park! I will be there Tuesday or Wednesday as it is forecast to be at least 40℃ (105℉), so you might see me relaxing on the Big River! 

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