What to see in Syracuse?
Syracuse is one of the many wonders that you must visit in Italy. Placed on the east coast of Sicily, it was one of the main cities in Magna Graecia. It is characterized by great archaeological and historical remain. It was such a powerful city at the time of Greek rule that managed, without any difficulty, to contrast with Romans and Carthaginians. Cicero named it “the most beautiful Greek city” of all. What to see in Syracuse? Here at Your Travel to Italy with Ana Patricia you make the trip of your dreams!!! ALSO: see our “Accommodation in Italy – Tips for your holidays!”
(Source: Aka Pepinho)
Syracuse is the city of countless wonders, with imposing Greco-Roman remains and buildings with elegant Baroque harmony. Rich in legends and traditions and overlooking one of the most beautiful seas in Italy, this ancient city will be able to dazzle you. Don’t let this unmissable place escape you. It would take a few days to visit, understand and appreciate it. In any case, we will propose a kind of tour that will allow you to visit the most important places. At this point, it is no longer necessary to explain why to visit Syracuse, since the premise listed all the reasons why it is worth visiting this incredible place on a wonderful island like Sicily. Read also What are the 10 must-see cities in Sicily? and Car Itinerary in Sicily!
1) What to see in Syracuse? VISIT THE NEAPOLI ARCHEOLOGICAL PARK
We start at the heart of Greek Syracuse, the Archaeological Park of Neapolis: we are in the middle of Magna Graecia and all the monuments suggest it with arrogance. Inside the Archaeological Park of Neapolis is the Greek Theater, entirely carved out of the white, luminous rock. During Greek times, the shows that this theater received were experienced with immense involvement by the population. Even today, during the months of May and June, Greek tragedies are represented and it is difficult to describe the emotion we experience and witness in an ancient Greek theater with tragedy written by Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Sophocles or Euripides. In the archaeological park, in addition to the Greek theater, there is the Roman Amphitheater, the Altar of Hieron II, the latomies and the Ear of Dionysus.
2) What to see in Syracuse? VISIT THE ISLAND OF ORTIGIA
As with every visit that deserves this name, you cannot fail to take a stroll in the small streets of the historic center of the city: the one in Syracuse, however, is on a wonderful island, Ortigia, the heart of the city. The island of Ortigia saw the birth of the city of Syracuse, which, because of its favorable position, soon became a very important detachment from the commercial point of view in the first place and the military one afterwards. Great encouragement to the development of these places was given by the Sicanos and the Phoenicians and, later, by the Greek colonists.
During the Baroque era, the island flourished with activities, palaces, churches such as the beautiful Palazzo Borgia, Beneventano, Rizza; the Aretusa fountain, the Cathedral, the Church of St Joseph, of St Lucy, of San Domenico, Porto Grande and Porta Marina. Observe the Cathedral built on the remains of a Greek theater, get lost in the markets and take a stroll by the sea, flanking the crystal-clear water. At the source of Aretusa, they will also receive a surprise: papyrus plants grow undisturbed. Today, there are many tourists who will admire so many beauties welcomed by luxurious hotels, high-quality facilities, intimate bed and breakfasts or family pensions.
3) What to see in Syracuse ? VISIT THE BASILICA OF SAINT LUCY AT THE ABBEY
We will continue our tour to the Basilica of St Lucy at the Abbey, in Piazza Duomo (“Cathedral Square”). Saint Lucy is the protector saint of Syracuse (celebrated on several occasions during the year, the most important on December 13) and the basilica is one of the two churches dedicated to her. You cannot fail to visit this church, because on the altar you will find a real gem: a canvas by Caravaggio that depicts the burial of the Saint. Among the other religious buildings in the Baroque style, we visit the Church of the Holy Spirit, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears, the Church of St John Baptist and the Church of St Methodius.
4) What to see in Syracuse ? VISIT THE ORTIGIA MARKET
If, after so much beauty, you are hungry, don’t worry: fortunately Syracuse will offer you a range of different choices, from the simple pub to the luxurious restaurant. I recommend a visit to the famous market in Ortigia (Mercado Street, south of Pancali Square) where it is good to let yourself get carried away by the colors and smells it offers. Also remember that here the prices for getting an abundant lunch are very affordable. After recovering our strength, we continued our tour to the big port to admire its panorama, which is particularly suggestive at dusk.
5) What to see in Syracuse ? VISIT THE ARETUSA FOUNTAIN
We will be in front of the sea, in a place that will leave us speechless: it is the Aretusa Foutain. What at first sight might look like a fountain is actually a completely natural fresh water fountain, from which the legend of Aretusa and Alfeo was created. From here, on the right side, one can also see the belvedere.
6) What to see in Syracuse ? VISIT THE BELLOMO PALACE
This square is also called “Square of the Passionate” for the romantic suggestion. After having seen the Aretusa Fountain and its fine papyrus plants, it is recommended to take a look at the Bellomo Palace Regional Gallery. In fact, it is here that you can find another masterpiece of art of all times, the Annunciation by Antonello de Messina, a very fine work from the Italian four hundred. Its recent restoration allowed the visitor to appreciate many details that had been lost in time. Today the Virgin appears in her total beauty and elegance, with her arms crossed on her chest when receiving the Angel’s announcement. The dove of the Holy Spirit approaches him entering the window and leaving a trail of light. In the miniature scenario, we find many images of harsh everyday lives. A marvel by the painter Antonelli that you cannot help admiring.
7) What to see in Syracuse ? VISIT THE MANIACE CASTLE
Finally, we can conclude our itinerary by visiting one of the most fascinating castles in Sicily, the Maniace Castle. The structure was erected by Federico II at the end of the island, in the place where a battle probably won by the Byzantine conductor Giorgio Maniace. The powerful quadrangular structure with the four circular towers still retains all the fascination of medieval mannerism, even though today it is the host of important cultural events.
8) What to see in Syracuse ? VISIT ST ROCH SQUARE
After this long walk, it is good to sit down for an aperitif. Saint Roch Square (behind the church of Santa Lucia alla Badia) represents an ideal place to rest your feet, with many pubs that will satisfy your demands. Despite the fatigue that always accompanies the days when we immerse ourselves in art, culture and nature, I am sure that Siracusa will remain in your heart and that you will probably want to return on a second trip, perhaps staying longer .
Source: aka Pepinho
How to get to Syracuse?
Getting to fabulous destinations in Sicily is not difficult. The land of he sun is equipped with all the infrastructure ready to receive tourists, with its five airports, ports, highways and train stations, all you have to do is leave!
1) How to get to Syracuse? BY AIRPLANE
Sicily is served by five airports, two of which are international. Sicilian airports are connected by direct flights to and from major Italian and European cities and serve as a stopover for flights from local airports across the Mediterranean. The main airports are Catania Fontanrossa Vincenzo Bellini and Palermo, Punta Raisi called Falcone and Borsellino.
Then there is Trapani Birgi Vincenzo Florio airport, which is growing rapidly and which performs a large number of airline landings and takeoffs daily, to Italian and European cities, and finally, there are Lampedusa and Pantelleria airports, with flights direct to major cities to and from the peninsula.
However, if you are arriving from other airports, also read our Special Posts on Airports in Italy:
- HOW TO GO FROM THE ROME AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF ROME?
- HOW TO GO FROM THE MALPENSA AIRPORT TO THE CENTER OF MILANO?
- HOW TO GO FROM VENICE AIRPORT TO VENICE CENTER
2) How to get to Syracuse? BY TRAIN
If you prefer to go by train, Sicily is linked to the rest of the peninsula by the national group of State Railways – Trenitalia; railways connect all Sicilian provinces. Also find out “What is the difference between trains in Italy?”. Would you like to save? So buy your ticket online in advance and save a lot, read the Post “How to buy a train ticket in Italy?“.
3) How to get to Syracuse? BY SHIP
It is possible to reach Sicily by sea. The main points of reference are the ports of Messina, Palermo, Catania, Augusta, Trapani, Gela and Porto Empedocle, in Agrigento. Other smaller, but important for tourism, are the marinas of Cefalu, San Vito Lo Capo and Pozzallo. From Catania, you can also use the Espresso Ravenna, which connects the island with the ports on the Adriatic. In Trapani, finally, you can arrive by boat from Tunisia.
4) How to get to Syracuse? BY CAR
For those who want to reach Sicily by car or motorbike, the fastest way is the Autostrada del Sole (www.autostrade.it) which is free of tolls from Naples to Reggio Calabria; get off at Villa San Giovanni, and take one of the ferries that cross the Strait. Different companies make the crossing service in the Strait: State Railways, Charon and Meridian. Read our section on Car Tour Examples in Italy.
Traveling by car in Italy
How about if I give you a rental car option? Are you ready for it? If you are renting a car be sure to read our posts in the section Driving in Italy on the blog Your Travel to Italy. In addition to car itinerary tips, we have everything about signage, tolls, roads and many more tips.
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What to see in Syracuse? Syracuse is one of the many wonders that you must visit in Italy. Discover the beautiful attractions of Syracuse here on Your Travel to Italy!
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