Your Siracusa tour begins when our english speaking driver greets you at your place of stay. After a leisurely drive you'll reach the hometown of one of the greatest mathemathicians of all time: Archimedes. Our city sightseeing starts at the superb archeological park (Neapolis) to admire its majetic monuments: the stone quarries, the greek theatre, the altar of Hieron II, the roman amphitheatre and, last but not least, the mysterious ear of Dionisyus. This is an easy to moderate walking tour and lasts approximatly 1.5 hours. After completing the visit of the park, you will be driven around the small island of Ortygia surrounded by the turquoise water of the Ionian sea. Ortigia is the heart and soul of Siracusa, a distillation of three thousand years of history. Here, you will have plenty of time to wander around the charming, medieval narrow streets, past romantically-crumbled Baroque palaces and churches. You can also admire the oldest Doric style temple built in Sicily and one of the most extraordinary buildings in the world: the Cathedral. This tour also includes the visit of the church of Santa Lucia alla Badia which houses one of Caravaggio's masterpieces: The Burial of Saint Lucy. Recently restored in Rome, the painting will leave the most discerning traveller astonished. The day ends at the fresh water spring of Aretusa where the papyrus still grows abundantly and whose history goes back to the earliest Greek colonists. As always, our expert driver can suggest local eateries and great restaurants and will be more than happy to make reservations for you if necessary.
Founded by ancient Greek Corinthians, the city of Siracusa is famous for its rich history, culture, amphitheatres and as the birthplace of the greatest mathematician in classical antiquity: Archimedes. The city boasts one of the largest concentration of Greek ruins outside of Greece! The colony was first established on the small island of Ortygia, chosen for its natural harbours and spring water. The city grew so rapidly in power and wealth and played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. It equaled Athens in size during the fifth century B.C., and later became part of the Roman Republic. Though declining slowly through the years, Syracuse maintained the status of capital of the Roman government of Sicily and seat of the praetor. It remained an important port for trade between the Eastern and the Western parts of the Empire. Christianity spread in the city through the efforts of Paul of Tarsus and Saint Marziano, the first bishop of the city, who made it one of the main centres of proselytism in the West. In the age of persecutions by Christians, massive catacombs were carved whose size is second only to those of Rome. After a period of Vandal rule, Syracuse and the island was recovered by Belisarius for the Byzantine Empire. After this Palermo overtook it in importance as the capital of the Kingdom of Sicily. Eventually the kingdom would be united with the Kingdom of Naples to form the Two Sicilies until the Italian unification of 1860. In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica.