The Sicilian City of Syracuse is a wonderland.
Echoes of ancient civilizations still resound in the streets of this coastal city, and Baroque architecture narrates its eventual rebirth as sun, sand and sky envelop it with their brilliance. A journey to this corner of Sicily awakens profound sensations, as if one were crossing the threshold of time into thousands of years ago.
More than any other city, Syracuse encapsulates Sicily’s timeless beauty. Ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards, cafe tables spill onto dazzling baroque piazzas, and medieval lanes lead down to the sparkling blue sea.
On a more factual note, Syracuse was the city of Archimedes, Aeschylus (whose plays are still performed in the huge amphitheatre) and Pindar. Plato spent several years here. It was the most important city in Magna Graecia. It’s difficult to imagine now but in its heyday Syracuse was the largest city in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens.
Its older residential quarter is an island, Ortigia (or Ortygia). Ortygia – a labyrinth of charming ancient and medieval streets – makes for a delightful holiday of sightseeing and shopping.
Ortygia is known for, among many other things, the freshwater Spring of Arethusa. When Artemis changed Arethusa into a spring of water to escape the river god Alpheus, it was here that the transformed maiden emerged
Although Syracuse is very well-known for the archaeological patrimony, Syracuse offers an awesome natural treasury.
Syracuse is a land of green oases spread out all over the territory, places for rediscovering uncontaminated nature and revealing in the silence broken only by whispering leaves, bubbling waters and by the sounds of its native species.
“The air was soft, the stars so fine, the promise of every cobbled alley so great, that I thought I was in a dream”
Cathedral of the Nativity