Siracusa and Its Stunning Heritage

Siracusa is a historical city on the island of Sicily, Italy. The city has a rich heritage of Greek and Roman cultures together due to invasions and settlements by various groups. Today, it is one of the most popular cities in the country with thousands of tourists visiting every year. These are some of the best places to witness Siracusa and its stunning heritage.

Duomo di Siracusa

The Cathedral of Siracusa is a historic church in the city that dates back to the 7th century. Zosimo, the bishop who built the cathedral, constructed it on top of a former temple dedicated to Apollo. This temple belonged to the Greeks who previously occupied the region. One of the most interesting aspects of this cathedral is that it has a little bit of something from different nations that lived there. The columns are Greek, the roof is Norman, and the façade is Italian.

Duomo di Siracusa
Duomo di Siracusa exterior close up

Ear of Dionysius

The Ear of Dionysius is a cave carved from the limestone of the Temenites hills. Despite what most think, the name of the cave does not come from the Greek deity Dionysius but from a former ruler of Siracuse, Dionysius I. The story goes that Dionysius I was very cruel and harsh. He used the cave to imprison his enemies and he made the cave in such a way that every prisoner could hear the screams of another one. Moreover, the legend is that visitors can still hear the echoes of the prisoners.

siracusa ear of dionysius
siracusa ear of dionysius cave

Teatro Greco

One of the first settlers of this ancient city was the Greeks. Teatro Greco, or the Greek Theatre, is arguably their biggest contribution to the city. It is no secret that the ancient Greeks loved entertainment, especially theatre. Therefore, they built a lot of amphitheaters wherever they lived, just like the Romans. This theatre was founded in the 5th century BCE but 200 years later, Romans renovated it. Due to this, the theatre is a perfect mix of Greco-Roman heritages.

teatro greco from above
teatro greco in siracusa

Fonte Aretusa

Unlike the other items on Siracusa’s stunning heritage list, Fonte Aretusa is not man-made. It is a fountain in the center of the city, flowing since ancient times. Aside from its natural beauty, the fountain is literally a stuff of legends. According to the myth, this is the place where the nymph Aretusa and her unrequited love Alpheus meet as bodies of water.

the sea and the river
fonte aretusa