Syracuse’s Greek theatre dates from 5th Century BC. It is breath-taking to think that to this day it is possible to watch one of the great Greek tragedies that our ancestors would have watched from the same seats all those years ago.
The Roman amphitheatre was built in the 3rd Century AD and was home to gladiators, wild animals and violent spectacles. There are sacrificial alters and Roman forts, tombs and many more incredible archaeological treasures to be seen in Syracuse.
The ancient Island of Ortigia is the heart of Syracuse. The layers of different civilizations that once dominated the island still make themselves heard through the beauty they have left behind. With a backdrop of the sea, the narrow entwining streets are now overflowing with baroque masterpieces. Piazza Duomo is considered to be one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. The square itself is surrounded by noble baroque palaces with the Duomo taking prime position. The cathedral of Syracuse was built on the foundations of the Greek temple of Athena (dating from the seventh century BC). Its beautiful Doric columns can still be seen embedded in the walls of the cathedral today.
History and legend continue to entwine in Ortigia with Maniace Castle, Aretusa Fountain, and the Temple of Apollo. The city remains a vibrant civilisation to this day and is alive with wonderful restaurants and interesting artisan shops nestled around every corner.