Art & cultureLandscaping & Sites

Syracuse and the Archeological Park

The ancient Greek Syracuse was as important as Athens. Many famous contributors to culture have been born in Syracuse as Archimedes, Quasimodo and Elio..

Today Syracuse is a dynamic, modern town,

with many visible signs of it’s grand and noble past.

However, the haphazard growth of the new part

of Syracuse has not affected the little island

of Ortygia, just off the coast,

where the ancient Greek colony was founded,

and neither has it spoiled the fascination of it’s classical

monuments and the splendor of it’s Baroque facades.

Visiting Syracuse it’s like taking a journey back in time.

The ancient Greek city was as important as Athens

and Rome in the Mediterranean,

especially under the tyrant of Gelon,

in the 5th century BC.

In medieval times, the arrival of the Arabs and Normans

brought changes to the town’s appearance and layout,

and enriched it economically and culturally,


the 1693 earthquake led to reconstruction on a vast scale,

making Syracuse into an important capital of the Baroque

style in Europe.

Syracuse not only has an extremely rich cultural past.

It is also set in a breathtaking beautiful natural surroundings,

for instance;

the peaceful bay of Porto Grande, with the Maddalena

peninsula on one side,

the magic of the Monti Iblei and Etna on the background.

Many famous contributors to culture and learning have

been born in Syracuse like:

Epicharmus, the great Greek playwright;

Theocritus, the bucolic poet;

Archimedes, one of the greatest scientist of the ancient


Ibn Hamdis, the Arab poet;

and the modern Italian men of letters,

Salvatore Quasimodo and Elio Vittorini.

An important cultural event in Syracuse is the performance

of the classical Greek tragedies in the summer months.

The Neapolis Archeological Park

The Neapolis Archeological Park was created in 1952,

and contains most of Greek and Roman Syracuse’s

classical monuments.

For security reasons, today tourists only have

access to the Greek theater and part of the Latomie del


one of the ancient stone quarries;

the other monuments can be viewed from a distance.


this doesn’t detract in any way from the powerful fascination

of this unique place,

where the work of both man and nature has such a strong


A wonderful view,

taking from the Santa Venera latomie and Grotticelli necropolis,

can be seen from Via Romagnoli.