The enchanting city of Syracuse is located on the east coast of Sicily, known for its rich history, archaeological wonders, and fascinating atmosphere.
Syracuse is a destination that will enchant every traveler!
In this article, we will guide you through an unforgettable tour of the city, revealing its main attractions and hidden treasures.
The Alfeo Promenade is a wonderful place in which to stroll and enjoy the beautiful crystal clear sea of Syracuse. It consists of a pedestrian avenue overlooked by hotels, bars, restaurants and pizzerias.
Skirting the Promenade, one arrives at Piazza Federico Svevia, where there is the entrance to Castello Maniace, one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period in Syracuse and one of the most beautiful of the Frederician castles.
The Promenade is a great place to spend afternoons sipping a drink or enjoying a fresh granita!
The Fountain of Arethusa has been a symbol of the city since its founding by the Hellenes.
Arethusa was a nymph in the retinue of Artemis, who, in order to escape the court of the god Alphaeus, was transformed by the latter into a freshwater spring that gushes out along the bank washed by the waters of Syracuse’s grand harbor in the southwestern part of the island of Ortigia. The appearance that the spring has today is the result of changes made during the 1800s, such as the walls around it topped with small railings, papyruses, fish and ducks, and is a place for gathering and strolling.
Near the Fountain is Piazza San Rocco, a splendid location in the heart of the historic center and the scene of Syracuse’s movida with its numerous clubs and pubs.
Read on to discover the hidden wonders that await you!
Leaving the fountain behind through Pompeo Picherali Street, you arrive in Piazza Duomo. It is one of the most beautiful squares in Italy and is home to numerous baroque-style buildings, bars and clubs, but above all the Duomo. The city’s cathedral, it stands on the upper part of the island of Ortigia, a site destined from ancient times to house a place of worship. The present facade is one of the best Baroque testimonies of Syracuse.
In the square, beyond the cathedral, you can admire the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, which houses a painting by Caravaggio, the Palazzo Vermexio, the Archbishopric and the Palazzo Borgia del Casale.
Another stop on our itinerary is Piazza Archimede. To reach the square, we pass through Via Roma, a beautiful street full of little stores and goodies for niche shopping. Archimedes Square hosts at its center the Fountain of Diana, which tells the legend of Arethusa, depicted fleeing from Alphaeus and protected by Diana. Palaces that sum up the entire history of the island overlook the square: Palazzo del Banco di Sicilia, Palazzo Gargallo, Palazzo Lanza.
The Pupillo Palace houses inside the Arkimedeion Museum, a science and technology museum dedicated to Archimedes. The museum displays the inventions and discoveries of the well-known Greek mathematician and physicist who lived in Syracuse between 287 and 212 B.C., which are illustrated interactively through 24 original exihibits. Inside it houses, in addition to educational workshops, a 3-D cinema.
The trip to Syracuse is not over yet! Continue to discover the hidden treasures and enchanting places that this extraordinary city has to offer.
Continue on to Corso matteotti, a shopping street, to arrive at the Temple of Apollo. The Temple of Apollo is one of the most important monuments of Ortigia and the oldest Doric temple in the whole of Sicily. The temple has undergone various transformations and adaptations over the centuries: it was, first, a Christian church in Byzantine times, an Arab mosque, a Norman basilica and in the 16th century Spanish barracks. All these transformations, severely damaged the building.
Around 1860 the temple was discovered inside the barracks and was later unearthed through excavations by Paolo Orsi. Today only two columns remain to testify to the monumentality of the ancient construction.
Head to the island of Ortigia and be transported to the heart of Syracuse, where the historic center is transformed into a fascinating blend of past and present. Explore its narrow medieval streets and admire the harmonious fusion of ancient architecture and majestic Baroque palaces overlooking the waters of the sea.
Savor the authenticity of local markets, such as the Ortigia Market, where the scents of fresh produce and colorful stalls create a unique atmosphere.
Continue your archaeological tour by visiting the Tychè Archaeological Park, located on Neapolis Hill. Also enjoy panoramic views of the city of Syracuse and its fascinating coastline.
For a break from ancient history, visit Maniace Castle, an imposing Norman fortress located on Ortigia’s waterfront. Explore its imposing walls and discover stories related to the battles that took place here over the centuries. Enjoy panoramic views of the sea and admire the Ortigia Lighthouse, which lights up the night creating a magical atmosphere.
From ancient monuments to enchanting narrow streets and unique atmospheres, Syracuse will give you an unforgettable experience that will immerse you in the glorious past of this fascinating Sicilian city.