Syracuse is a unique city, a museum city under the transparent Sicilian sky, a city of legend, a city of myth. According to legend, the city was founded by the Corfinians on the east coast of Sicily in about 735. BC e. The name of the city comes from the word “sirac”, which in the old Sicilian (Siculian) language means “a lot of water”. Soon Syracuse became the largest city of Magna Graecia – the area of Greek colonies in southern Italy and Sicily. From the 5th to the 3rd centuries BC e. Syracuse was one of the most powerful cities in the ancient world. In 212 BC, the city was captured by Rome. According to history, during the storming of Syracuse, the famous native of the city, the mathematician Archimedes, also died. Subsequently, Syracuse was under the rule of different rulers, and only in 1860, they became part of the united Italy. Today the legendary ancient city is a World Heritage Site,
The Archaeological Zone of Syracuse is located in the northeastern part of the city. Archaeological excavations of the temple of Apollo were carried out for ten years; today, individual fragments of the temple’s decorations are stored in the Archaeological Museum. The grandiose Greek theater of the beginning of the 5th century BC. is one of the largest and best preserved theaters in the Greek world. 67 rows, divided into 9 sectors, accommodated about 20,000 spectators. The theater was built in the 5th century. BC. under the direction of the architect Demokopos.. The Syracuse theater keeps the heritage of many great names of ancient Greece. Aeschylus staged his tragedies here, and Plato attended performances. Today, the theater often hosts performances that recreate the ancient atmosphere.
Nearby is the Roman amphitheater, built in the shape of a huge ellipse. The theater was built in the 3rd century BC. and with its size and shape resembles the Roman Colosseum. Also, this place has unique acoustic capabilities, thanks to which the Italian artist Cavaraggio his “Ear of Dionysius”. According to legend, the ancient Greek tyrant Dionysius carved a grotto in the rock to make a prison out of it and eavesdrop on the conversations of prisoners.
In the New Town, on the territory of Villa Landolina, there is the Archaeological Museum (Museo Archeologico Paolo Orsi) of Syracuse, covering an area of 9000 m2, the exposition of which covers the period from early prehistoric to ancient Roman eras. Nearby is the Temple of the Weeping Madonna – Madonna delle lacrime – (Santuario della madonna delle lacrime). The old city of Syracuse was located on the island of Ortigia, which today is connected by bridges to the embankment. Archimedes Square with a beautiful fountain of Artemis is surrounded by ancient palazzos of the 14th-16th centuries. In Palazzo Bellomo, a monument of the 13th-14th centuries, there is an art gallery with a valuable collection of silver church utensils and paintings. Nearby is the Cathedral Square (Piazza del Duomo) with a magnificent cathedral. The Cathedral of Santa Maria delle Colonne was built in the 7th century. on the site of the pagan temple of Athena of the 5th century BC. In the side chapel of the cathedral there is an impressive silver statue of St. Lucia by Pietro Rizzo from the end of the 16th century. On the sides of the Cathedral are the City Hall and the Archbishop’s Palace, which houses the Alagonian Library, which houses Greek, Latin and Arabic manuscripts, as well as a collection of ancient coins. Opposite the city hall is the palace of Beneventano del Bosco, built in the 15th century. At the very tip of the island of Ortigi rises the majestic castle of Menyache, built at the beginning of the 11th century. as well as a collection of antique coins. Opposite the city hall is the palace of Beneventano del Bosco, built in the 15th century. At the very tip of the island of Ortigi rises the majestic castle of Menyache, built at the beginning of the 11th century. as well as a collection of antique coins. Opposite the city hall is the palace of Beneventano del Bosco, built in the 15th century. At the very tip of the island of Ortigi rises the majestic castle of Menyache, built at the beginning of the 11th century.
Idyllic landscapes, sparkling expanse of the sea, ancient architecture of Syracuse evoke romance and a special mood. In this corner of Sicily, you can not only have a wonderful rest, but also touch the great history of ancient times.