A Trip to Syracuse

Syracuse Hotels

Once upon a time, Syracuse was the most mightiest city-state in the world. Ruled by famous tyrants like Dionysius the Elder, and home to Archimedes, one of history’s greatest thinkers, the power of Syracuse extended far beyond the Greek Empire, to which it belonged. The city’s influence waned only during the Arab occupation of Sicily, when the capital was moved to Palermo.

Visiting Syracuse is like taking a trip back into the ancient world. Greek ruins thousands of years old still claim space around Roman, Byzantine, Jewish and more modern Baroque constructions. The entire old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and you can’t hardly walk a block without seeing another noteworthy building, ruin, fountain or church.

We were staying on the island Ortigia, which constitutes the old town of Syracuse, where the great majority of sites are concentrated. Traffic is restricted here, and walking around the island’s quiet, narrow lanes was a pleasure. From the moment we arrived, we fell under the city’s spell — and considering that the ruins of the Temple of Apollo (from 570 BC) were the first thing we saw, that must be understandable.

With only a couple days to explore Syracuse and the surrounding area, we hardly rested. Luckily, we didn’t want to. Even when you’re exhausted, it’s easy to be spurred on by the fact that a massive, three thousand year old Greek Amphitheater is next on the itinerary. We saw a lot, and over the next few days, will be posting about our short trip away from Palermo.

Syracuse on our Sicily Map

-Sicilian History Books

This Post Has 10 Comments

  1. Fabulous photos of one of my favourite Sicilian cities. Ortygia is it’s own little world isn’t it. 

  2. Gordon Lethbridge

    Superb set of pictures that capture the true essence of Syracuse as I remember it. I think I need to revisit.

  3. I am tempted to make a gayish musical-comedy joke, about <i>The Boys from Syracuse</i>…If your readers commented every time you gentlemen posted thoughtful, observant tales and pictures of the places you visit, your server would collapse.  But I can’t let this pass without a compliment.  These photos are, even more than usual, exquisite.

  4. jan

    Inspirational photos as usual!  Hard to pick a fav, but the fountain ones blew me away.

  5. Scubanewb

    Some great close-up shoots you have there. your photos have a cozy and relax atmostphere.

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