Luoghi di interesse
Largo Aretusa Coordinate: N 37.057229 - E 15.292915
The most angorous myth of Syracuse is dedicated: the nymph Arethusa. According to mythology, the young woman was the object of the love of Alphaeus, but did not reciprocate his sentiment, on the contrary he fled from him, as long as tired of his insistence he asked Diana for help. The Goddess wrapped her in a thick cloud, transforming it into a fountain on the shore of Ortigia. Alfeo, he could not rest. The gods took pity on him and Jupiter the omnipotenet turned him into the river that flows into the great port of Siracus, so as to remain next to his beautiful beloved. By local tradition it is also called "a funtana re papiri". All this makes the current Aretusa source a pleasant place to visit and a mandatory tourist destination. Then remembering the myth and leaning on the iron ringhera that overhangs the source, the visitor will have the feeling of seeing the scenes of the myth because the place is so full of magic that it will remain involved. It is famous in Syracuse to walk, especially at sunset, along the Aretusa Fountain and see the sun descend on the horizon behind the Iblei Mountains. Horace Nelson remained enchanted from the source, and when he stopped in Syracuse in June 1798, before tackling Napoleon to Abukir, he wrote: "Thanks to your efforts we have returned from food and water and certainly drawn from the Fonte Aretusa, the victory can not to miss"
Via Castello Maniace, 51 - 96100 Siracusa Coordinate: N 37.053482 - E 15.295242
The Castle of Frederick II in Syracuse, later called Maniace, was built between 1232 and 1240. The first documents on its foundation are the letters that Federico sends November 17, 1239 from Lodi to his subordinates connected to the construction of the Castle, in which Emperor welcomes the diligence with which Riccardo da Lentini prepositus aedificiorum follows the castrum nostrum Syracusie and reassures him that his request pro munitione castroum nostrorum Syracusie et Lentini quam etiam pro Serracenis et servis nostris necessarium frumentum, ordeum, vinum, caseum, companagium, scarpas et indumenta was turned over to the treasurer of Messina, who will provide as soon as possible to supply it with everything needed. Notice how the emperor uses the terms Serracenis and servis nostris, referring to the workers in the building site: the Saracens, "skilled technicians" were regularly salaried, while the servants did not.
Via Paradiso, 14 - 96100 Siracusa Coordinate: N 37.075941 - E 15.275167
The Greek Theater of Syracuse, between the rocky slopes of Colle Temenite, a little distant from the center of Syracuse is one of the most beautiful that antiquity has left us as an inheritance. The cavea is facing the sea and the whole theater still shows today. Under the Romans (I-V century AD) the theater building was further modified to allow the performance of some representations and performances typical of the Roman world. Unfortunately, the unfortunate spoliazioni carried out in the first half of the sixteenth century, when under Charles V dismantled the upper portion of the cavea and the scene to make building material for the fortification of Ortigia, have seriously and irremediably altered and damaged the building in its structural identity.
The Greek Theater of Syracuse is one of the most beautiful of all those that the ancient Hellenic culture, and not only, has left us. A theater that proudly shows the time that has passed, shows the signs of the different dominations, testifies the different ways of living and interpreting the spaces but above all it is there to witness the love for beauty and for the art that characterized the two most important cultures in the world: the Greek and the Roman. You do not need to be an art lover to visit the Greek Theater, the important thing is to still want to be amazed.
The wide and splendid Piazza Duomo of Syracuse is the symbol of Baroque reconstruction of the city after the 1693 earthquake; you can admire and visit some of the main historical and religious buildings in the center. The Piazza is dominated by the marvelous Cathedral, dedicated to the Nativity of Mary, with its sumptuous façade; the original building dates back to the seventh century but after the earthquake of 1693 it was extensively renovated in Baroque style. Both the Cathedral and the nearby Palazzo Senatorio were built on the remains of ancient Greek finds; in particular the first is the transformation of an ancient temple of the fifth century BC, dedicated to Athena, whose remains are still visible on the left side and inside the church. On the left of the Duomo stands, as mentioned, the Palazzo Senatorio, now the Town Hall, built by Andrea Vermexio between 1629 and 1633; on the right of the church we can admire the bishop's palace, and, further on, the monastery and the Church of Santa Lucia. On the other side of the square there are the buildings of some private residences, such as Palazzo Gaetani, in front of the Palazzo Senatorio, and Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco.
Via Paradiso, 14 - 96100 Siracusa Coordinate: N 37.07658 - E 15.276164
Orecchio di Dionisio
L'Orecchio di Dionigi è la più famosa delle grotte che si aprono sul fronte settentrionale della Latomia del Paradiso, realizzate dai cavatori di pietra che seguivano i filoni di calcare di migliore qualità. Alta circa 23 m. e larga fra 5 e 11 m., con pareti convergenti a formare una volta a sesto acuto leggermente smussato, la grotta si sviluppa in profondità per 65 m. Michelangelo da Caravaggio, che visitò la grotta nel 1608 nel corso del suo viaggio verso Malta, la chiamò “orecchio di Dionigi” per la sua caratteristica forma a S, vagamente simile ad un padiglione auricolare, e soprattutto per le sue notevoli proprietà acustiche, che amplificano i suoni; la leggenda narra infatti che il tiranno Dionigi usasse rinchiudere i suoi nemici all’interno della grotta per ascoltarne dall’alto, non visto, i discorsi, amplificati dall’eco. In realtà, la grotta deve la sua forma al modo in cui fu realizzata; lo scavo iniziò dall’alto, seguendo il tracciato sinuoso di un acquedotto, e si allargò man mano che scendeva in profondità, seguendo l’andamento del filone di calcare. Come nelle vicine grotte dei Cordari e del Salnitro, sono ben visibili, sulle pareti, i segni della lavorazione della roccia e del distacco dei blocchi.
Piazza Cappuccini , Siracusa, SR 96100
Latomie dei Cappuccini
Percorrendo i sentieri di questo luogo, il visitatore ha la sensazione di immergersi in uno scenario di indubbia bellezza: in esso infatti si possono ammirare imponenti pilasti di pietrache sorreggono enormi blocchi di roccia; misteriose grotte dal fascino arcano e dalle quali sono stati ricavati dei perfetti teatri naturali. In numerose di esse si rintraccia ancora la presenza di alcuni pozzi e cisterne che i frati cappuccini utilizzavano per irrigare il giardino. Le pareti di roccia calcarea offrono alla vista segni tangibili e testimonianze delle tecniche estrazione della bianca pietra di Siracusa. Infine, al centro di questo immenso parco naturale si incontrano due grandi piloni di roccia; uno di essi ha la curiosa forma a testa di coccodrillo dalle mandibole spalancate.