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Tourist attractions Syracuse

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  • 1 Greek theatre of Neapolis Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Via Giulio-E.-Rizzo

    This 5C BC theatre, one of the largest monuments from antiquity, was carved into the rock using the natural slope of the Temenite hill. Inaugurated with Perseus by Aeschylus (think about it), it was built by Damocope, also known as Myrilla. Transform..

  • 2 Ear of Dionysus (Orecchio di Dionisio) Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    Via Giulio-E.-Rizzo

    Caravaggio christened this amazing cave in the Latomia del Paradiso quarry: as a result of its exceptional acoustics, the tyrant Dionysus could, it is said, hear everything his opponents whispered. A legend, of course: nevertheless this place, create..

  • 3 Ortigia Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Isola di Ortigia

    The oldest part of the city, the island of Ortigia is linked to the mainland by the Ponte Nuovo; the road continues as Corso Umberto I, one of Siracusa's main thoroughfares. Here the sea is of course the main feature, from the waterfront that extends..

  • 4 Parco Archeologico della Neapolis Highly Recommended Highly Recommended Highly Recommended

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Viale Paradiso

    Ancient Syracuse ruled over a spur to the north of the modern-day city. With the exception of its magnificent theatre and grottoes (among which the fascinating Orecchio di Dionisio or "Ear of Dionysus", more than worth the detour), the pres..

  • 5 Piazza Duomo Recommended Recommended

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Duomo

    Irregular and slightly concave in front of the cathedral, this charming square is surrounded by attractive Baroque palaces. Notably Palazzo Senatorio, but also Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, which has an attractive interior courtyard. The church of S..

  • 6 Cyane Spring (Fonte Ciane) Recommended Recommended

    Nature and gardens

    It is never a good thing to go against the wishes of Gods: take poor Cyane, for example, a charming nymph, who opposed the raising up of Persephone by Hades. He, in his anger, changed her into a spring. But bad things can be good: today the spring is..

  • 7 Catacombs of San Giovanni Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Via S.-Giovanni-alle-Catacombe

    The Acradina district has since Roman times been devoted to the dead. Carved from solid limestone rock in the 4C-5C and extending over a wide area, the catacombs were centred on the tomb of St Martian, one of the earliest martyrs. Quite complex in st..

  • 8 Basilica St John the Evangelist Recommended Recommended

    Religious buildings

    Viale S.-Giovanni-alle-Catacombe

    The ruins of the basilica stand open to the skies above the crypt of St Marcus and constitute one of the most fascinating places in Syracuse. Byzantine in style, it was destroyed by the Arabs, retaken by the Normans, it then lost its roof in an earth..

  • 9 Latomia (Quarries) Recommended Recommended

    Industrial tourism and theme park

    Via Romagnoli

    The word Latomia describes the old stone quarries used for the construction of public buildings. And as nothing goes to waste, they made excellent prisons. The Paradise Latonia is the most attractive of these quarries. Now it contains a ravishing gar..

  • 10 Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi Recommended Recommended

    Museums and art

    Viale Teocrito 66

    This regional archaeological museum, tucked away in the park of Villa Landolina, is an undisputed reference of the history of Sicily from prehistory to the establishment of Greek colonies at Syracuse. The museum is divided into clearly structured sec..

  • 11 Fonte Aretusa Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Via Capodieci

    The nymph Aretusa had had enough of Alpheus who was too forward for her liking. Diana helped her, aiding her escape through an underground route to Ortigia, where Arethusa was changed into a spring. Peace at last? No, Alpheus had more than one trick ..

  • 12 Syracuse Cathedral Interesting

    Religious buildings

    Piazza Duomo

    This is a former temple built in honour of Athena which was transformed into a church in the 7C then, probably into a mosque by the Arabs, before being remodelled in the Norman era and collapsing in the earthquake of 1693. Entrusted with the reconstr..

  • 13 Bellomo Palace Regional Gallery Interesting

    Museums and art

    V. Capodieci 14-16

    This museum, located in a palace built in the Swabian era and extended in the 15C, then reconverted when the friars of the next-door Benedictine monastery became its owners. It is mainly devoted to Sicilian art and has one major work, sadly very dama..

  • 14 Mergulese-Montalto palace Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Via dei Montalto

    Built in the 14C, this beautifully restored palace has superb ornamental windows surrounded by richly sculpted arches and separated by fine torsaded columns.

  • 15 Via della Maestranza Interesting

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Via della Maestranza

    This street is among the main routes through Ortigia and is flanked by noble houses in the Baroque style. Among the most remarkable are the Impellizzeri palace (no. 17), the stern Bonanno palace (no. 33), the impressive Romeo Bufardeci palace with it..

  • 16 Roman amphitheatre of the archaeological park of Neapolis Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Via Paradiso

    Built in the imperial era, it has, like the Greek theatre, profited from the configuration of the terrain, at least for one of the hemicycles which is carved directly into the rock. In the centre of the arena, the rectangular cavity, linked to the en..

  • 17 Eurialo Castle Interesting

    Archaeological and historical sites

    Via Epipoli

    Dioniso the old surrounded the Epipoli plateau with ramparts. In total, there is 27 kilometres of ramparts! Near Belvedere, on top of Eurialo hill stands one of the world's most impressive ancient fortresses. Three trenches take you into the keep in ..

  • 18 Maniace castle (Castello Maniace)

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Via Castello-Maniace

    Built on the point of Ortigia by Frederick II of Hohenstaufen, in the first half of the 13C, this sandstone fortress bears the name of a Byzantine general, Giorgio Maniace who was the first to fortify the island in 1038, in order to avoid it falling ..

  • 19 Syracuse Municipal Gallery of Contemporary Art

    Museums and art

    Via delle Vergini

    In the former church of Montevergini and the neighbouring monastery paintings by Italian artists (Fermariello, Cingolani...) and foreign too.

  • 20 Archimedes Square (Piazza Archimede)

    Architecture, castles and historic districts

    Piazza Archimede

    Decorated in the centre with the Fountain of Artemis (19C), this square at the end of the Via della Maestranza, is surrounded by attractive palaces. It honours the most famous son of Syracuse, born in 287 BC, a mathematician and inventor and famously..

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