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About Pantalica

Basic Information:


Pantalica is a Rocky Necropolis in the Natural Reserve Pantalica containing over 5000 tombs. Since 2005 Pantalica is a part of the World Heritage List by UNESCO for its high historical, artistic, archaeological and speleological landscape.

The site is located on a plateau surrounded by canyons formed over thousands of years by two rivers, the Anapo and Calcinara, which led to the canyon topography characteristic of the area.

Several paths allow you to visit the site. The Anapo Valley is accessible from two gates connected together, from the side of Sortino and from the side of Ferla, as well as the Saddle of Filiporto. The area of Pantalica falls within the Nature Reserve of Pantalica, Anapo Valley and Cava Grande torrent.

The area of Pantalica sure had never been completely settled in the Greek period. During the early Middle Ages people exhausted from the incursions of the barbarians, pirates and then the Arabs searching for safe place found shelter in its inaccessibility. It is so why we have the testimony of the Byzantine era.

Today you can still see the remains of dwellings carved into the rock in the Byzantine era and the remains of the small rock oratories of the Crucifix Cave, of San Nicolicchio and San Micidiario.

The first scholar to deal with Pantalica was the archaeologist Paolo Orsi in the late nineteenth century.


Necropolis of Pantalica

Pantalica is full of cemeteries across its vast territory:

  • The Necropolis of Filiporto is composed of a thousand tombs that extend on the slopes and in the Valley Anapo, belonging to the last phase of the city (IX-VIII century BC).
  • The Necropolis of the Northwest, one of the oldest in the area (XI-XII century BC).
  • The Necropolis of Cavetta of the ninth and eighth centuries BC with the presence of Byzantine dwellings.
  • The North Necropolis is the largest and the most extensive and dates back to the twelfth or eleventh century BC.


Anaktoron of Pantalica

Anaktoron of Pantalica or so called The Prince Palace is the only one testimony of not rock construction on Pantalica. It is located on the top of the hill of Pantalica.

Today are visible only ruins of the magnificent building in polygonal blocks, once known as The Prince Palace, recognized as Anaktoron of a local prince (anax), dating back to the first phase of city life and somehow refitted by Byzantines.

In the Palace, Paolo Orsi found the remains of a bronze foundry, hence was led to believe that metal working was the prerogative of the head of ancient communities. Because of its unique position in the landscape of Sicily protohistoric the Anaktoron Pantalica, most of megalithic structure, was given by Orsi basically attributed by workers in the service of Mycenaean barbarian prince.


Opening Hours

The Archaeological Site:

Always open.

An audiovisual program on the site of Pantalica is screened daily at the Museum "Paolo Orsi", Siracusa,

☎ +39 0931 48 11 42


The Nature Site:

From April to September: 7.00 to 20.00.

Rest of the year: 8.00 to 17.00.

Guided tours (4 hours). It is available an audiovisual program.

Free admission.

☎ +39 0931 95 36 95; +39 0931 46 24 52



Ferla, Sortino, (SR)

Sicilia, Italy

Riserva Naturale Orientata Pantalica, Valle dell'Anapo, Torrente Cava Grande


Where to see Archeological Founds of Pantalica?

Arheological Founds can be see in the Archeological Museum "Paolo Orsi" in Siracusa.

Address of "Paolo Orsi" Museum:

Siracusa, Italy

Viale Teocrito, 66,

☎ 0931 48 95 11; fax: 0931 48 95 32.


Opening Hours:

From Tuesday to Saturday: 9.00 to 18.00,

Sundays and public holidays: 9.00 to 13.00.

Closed: Monday.


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Map of Pantalica


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