The fountain has changed in appearance many times over the centuries; the last
was in 1540 when, constructing ramparts around the island of Ortigia, the Spanish
reduced the lake of approximately 200 meters created by the spring, reducing it
to the much smaller, semicircular pool (at the foot of the wall) that one sees
Demolished in 1847 the overlying walls, the bases of the ramparts were transformed
into the Belvedere (rearranged in 1947) that one can admire today.
This pond also has a second peculiarity: at its center a collection of wild papyrus has grown for millennia, and, together with that of the Ciane/Anapo river, constitutes the only wild papyrus existing in Europe.
To the delight of youngsters, freshwater fish and domestic ducks swim in the
deep water of the spring.
How to reach the Fountain of Arethusa from the Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel.
With respect to the Hotel Algilà, one finds the Fountain of Arethusa on the opposite
side of the island of Ortigia. The entrance to the Aquarium
opens onto the foot of the Spanish ramparts, a few meters from the seaside and
the Arethusa Fountain.
Given the modest size of the island, one can easily reach it by foot, perhaps
visiting Piazza Duomo
along the way.
For those, however, who don’t want or cannot go by foot, bus #20 is available
(which makes a loop around Ortigia every 30 minutes, and runs from 7:20 a.m. to
1:30 a.m every day), as well as a taxi service or the complimentary bicycles
that the Hotel Algilà makes available to its guests.
The hotel’s reception desk is available for information on the availability and
reservation of taxis.
One can admire the fountain from above, from Belvedere, which runs along all
sides. No architectural barriers exist, and the descent between the top and the
base of the ramparts is served by a ramp and not a stairway.
Those who wish to admire the fountain from ground level can enter the Aquarium
(with a ticket), make their way to the exit on the sea, and directly reach to
the wall of the fountain.