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"Have you often heard that Syracuse is the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all. Dear judges, it is just as they say."
(Marco Tullio Cicerone, In Verrem, II,4,117)
- City: Siracusa
- Region: Sicilia
- Province: Siracusa
- Zona: South Italy
- Coordinates: 37°5′0″N 15°17′0″E
- Surface: 204,08 km²
- Population: 123 517 (by 30/05/2012)
- Patron Saint: Santa Lucia da Siracusa
- Saint Day: 13 December
- Web site: Official Web Site
Once Siracusa (Syracuse, Sarausa in Sicilian) was one of the largest metropolis of the ancient world, and the largest Greek city. Today Siracusa is the fourth largest city in Sicily by population, after Palermo, Catania and Messina. It is also the capital center of the province of Siracusa in Sicily.
In the province of Siracusa you will find the Rock Necropolis of Pantalica in the List of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO since 2005.
The name Siracusa derives from siculo Syraka or Sùraka (plenty of water) for the presence of many watercourses and a swampy area, especially in the area of Pantanelli. Both in Greek and in Latin It is plural, Syracusae, because the city was founded by Archia, a noble of Corinth in 734 BC. It became in a few years the Pentapoli as the original core, consisting of the island of Ortigia, then were added also other four groups: Acradina, Tiche, Neàpoli and Epipoli.
What to see in Siracusa?
Siracusa has very rich past and have preserved well many archeological and Historical sites in the city and surroundings. It is like a Little Rome of Italy in Sicilia (note of the author of this site!).
If you decide a day to go to Sicily do not miss to see this wonderful city and its remarkable sites.
Ortigia is a beautiful district of Siracusa with many interesting and well preserved sites to see. In fact it is located in one picturesque island.
The name of Ortigia district arrives from one the name of one son of Archia - the founder of Siracusa.
Do not miss to see the following pleaces in Ortigia.
- Apollo Temple
- Duomo of Siracusa Santa Maria of Piliere or of Nativity
- Maniace Castle
- Fountain of Aretusa
- Fountain of Diana huntress
- Palazzo Belomo - Art Gallery
Neapolis is historically called the "new district" of the ancient Greek polis and currently the prime district of Siracusa. It is situated north-west of Ortigia. Here are concentrated the most important monuments of Greece era.
- Greek Teather
- Ear of Dionysius
- Altar of Ierone
- Roman Amphitheater
- Augustan Arch
- Latomia of Paradise
- Latomia Intagliatella
- Latomia of S.Venera
- Salnitro Cave
- Cordari Cave
- Basilica of St. Nicholas of Cordari
- Roman Pool
- Necropolis Grotticelle
- Tombs Street
- Archimede Tomb
- Sanctuary of Apollo Temenite
See more in Siracusa
You should not miss to see also in Siracusa:
- Aqueduct Galermi
- Latomia of Cappuccini
- Zeus Temple
- Roman Gymnasium
- San Giovanni Tombs
- Sanctuary of Our Lady of Tears
- Basilica Santa Lucia
- Santa Lucia Tomb
Just outside of Siracusa
- Eurialo Castle - Built on the plateau of Epipoli by Dionysius the Elder between 402 and 397 BC, the Eurialo Castle, with its 25 km long walls is the largest Greek Fortification. Don not miss to visit its basement, large limestone blocks 3m thick and the towers.
There are beautiful Natural Areas in Siracusa and its surroundings. For those who likes countryside it is recommended the following places to see.
- Ciane River and Saline Natural Reserve
- Protected Marina Area of Plemmirio
- Cavagrande of Cassibile
How to go to Siracusa?
Siracusa has limited transports but it is easy reachable by car and train.
- By Air
The closest Airport to Siracusa is in Catania. The best solutions is to rent a car from the Airport of Catania for the time you are in Sicilia. On this way you will be more easy movable everywhere and not dependent from the transports. Catania is 70 km far from Siracusa.
You can get also a direct bus from Catania to Siracusa.
For more information see the International Airport Catania-Fontanarossa.
- By Bus
There are regular buses from Siracusa to Catania, Modica, Radusa, Noto, Gela and other local destinations. Buses are served by AST in Sicilia. Note that the site is only in Italian language.
- By Train
The Train Station of Siracusa is at about 10 minutes walking to the Old Historical Center of the city.
Siracusa is a head station and rail terminus with a traffic of long-distance trains to Naples, Milan, Rome, Turin and Venice and regional trains to Catania, Gela, Messina and Noto, Modica, Radusa.
To the south the railway is single track and not electrified. It is involved in a project with a view to upgrading along with the opening of the entire motorway Siracusa-Gela.
Siracusa has five main platforms numbered 1-5. There are another three smaller platforms also numbered 1-3 that are marked "Ovest" - if you are going to get a train to Gela you need to go right there.
For more information visit the Italian Railway web site.
- By Car
Siracusa is easy reachable from North Italy. There are many other roads going to different places in Sicilia.
- If you come from North Italy and Catania you should come via Highway A18. A18 continues to Rosolini.
- If you come from Gela, Radusa e Modica you should get E45 to Ispica and then to Rosolini, where you can get A18.
- Use SS124 from Caltagirone to Palazzo Acreide. Then get SS287 and SP14 to Canicattini Bagni e Siracusa.
- If you prefer to travel via Panoramic way near the sea you should get SS114 to the North and SS115 to South of Siracusa.
- By Boat
The port of Siracusa is historic and vibrant node of trade. Since 2007 is affected by the construction works of the new tourist harbor Marina di Archimede.
The port of Siracusa consists two sections:
- Little Harbour - north of Ortigia
- Porto Grande - south of the city of Syracuse.
- Go Around
Going around the old historical city the better way to explore it is by walking. The archaeological area is at about 25 minutes by food from the Ortigia district.
You can also rent an electrical bicycle, scooter, canoe or camper for the time you are in Siracusa.
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Map of Siracusa