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Day 3 - SYRACUSE, SICILY

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Syracuse SicilyDay 3 - SYRACUSE, SICILY - RICH IN HISTORY & CULTURE October 11, 2021

Syracuse was once one of the largest and most important cities in Western Civilization, and its long history and strong culture means there’s still a lot to see and do.

Classic sights like the Ortygia, Neapolis, and the Basilica of Santa Lucia are always worth a visit, and don’t forget to take in a puppet theatre show (Opera dei Pupi), which happens to be a traditional
form of Sicilian entertainment. The stunning Fonte Aretusa was once the source of the city’s drinking water and now the pond and surrounding area is a scenic spot. Don’t forget to grab a slice of Sicilian pizza and a world-famous cannoli to take along as you stroll.

Syracuse is a city on the Ionian coast of Sicily, Italy. It's known for its ancient ruins. The central Archaeological Park Neapolis comprises the Roman Amphitheater, the Teatro Greco and the Orecchio di Dionisio, a limestone cave shaped like a human ear. The Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi exhibits terracotta artifacts, Roman portraits and Old Testament scenes carved into white marble.book now

The Greek Theatre

Theatre

The Archaeological Park in the western part of Syracuse is undoubtedly one of the main attractions of the region. Within this fantastic area is a series of ancient ruins and the most renowned is the Greek Theatre

Created in 470 BC, this ancient amphitheatre played host to some legendary play writes such as Aischylos and Sophocles, and has a diameter of 138 metres. Today, much of the originally semi-circular seating survives in fantastic condition, although it is sometimes covered with wood to preserve its quality.

Furthermore, you can still see sections of the stage and scenery buildings.
This is one of the best preserved theatres in Sicily and is a must see attraction when visiting Syracuse

 

The Roman Amphitheatre

RomanAmphitheatre

Another true gem within the Archaeological Park in the western part of Syracuse is the impressive Roman Amphitheatre. Just like its Greek neighbour, this structure remains in a remarkable condition despite its old age.Constructed in the 3rd century, this Amphitheatre was partially made from the actual rock with a large arched entrance at either end.

You can still see much of the seating on both sides, and you can also see the remains of the underground passages and rooms that would have been used by the gladiators who fought here. Although some of the structure is now overgrown, it still looks absolutely fantastic and the moss and greenery give it character.

 

Latomia del Paradiso

Latomia del Paradiso

Syracuse has several different Latomia (quarries) which have been worked since the 6th century and mined for stone. This stone has been used extensively in the construction of many of the cities landmarks and homes. Best known of these quarries is the Latomia del Paradiso. Within this quarry is an impressive 60m long and 11m high gallery – this cave is truly beautiful and quiet surreal. Surrounded by gorgeous woodland, the quarry is quite hidden and without looking, you would not know its there.

This Latomia is also known as the Ear of Dionysius – legend has it, that if you stand at one end of the cave, you can here whispered conversations right at the other end!

 

Catacombs of San Giovanni

san giovanni church

The church of San Giovanni is an interesting structure in its own right and was created in the 6th century.
Although it has been restored at various stages, it now lies in ruin due to the devastating earthquake of 1693. If you walk down the flight of steps at the back of the church, you can access the catacombs – these catacombs are extensive and are even larger than the examples remaining in Rome.
Within the catacombs you can see various crypts and some of the immense columns still stand in near perfect condition.
Furthermore, the whole structure features a myriad of designs and symbolism, and miles of underground passages.

 

 

Desire Rome - Greece Cruise 2021

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