Ortygia Island is situated in the city of Syracuse, the southern Italian island of Sicily. This is a small walled island connected by a bridge to Syracuse. Perfect for resting, jumping in one of its small coves or just to sit on a stone to watch the clouds pass by.
Where to start ... Sicily is wonderful but Syracuse .. is a world apart. I don´t know if any of you have gone, the amount of beauty is very moving. The best way to describe this beautiful city is that it's marvelous and you cannot miss it. Its streets, its people, every corner, every facade. Really, it makes you fall in love!
Throughout life I have seen many cathedrals on the inside, most are beautiful but there comes a time when you remember the ones with something special. This is the case, I had never seen a cathedral with a Greek temple inside. This makes the place very special, quite distinct and worth a visit.
Syracuse is one of the most visited cities of Sicily because of the ruins. Of all the ruins that we can find in this area, the most visited are undoubtedly those found in the Neapolis Archaeological Park, located just outside of the city. The ruins of this park are truly extraordinary. Some of them are particularly noteworthy like the Roman amphitheater. It is the third largest amphitheater in the world after the Colosseum in Rome and the amphitheater of Verona. It was built in the second century to perform gladiatorial contests and horse racing. In the sixteenth century, the Spanish destroyed the place and used it as a quarry to build the walls of the city. It has since been rebuilt and it remains today in excellent condition. In my opinion, it is one of the most impressive ruins for two reasons: First, because it´s made of the elegant white stone and second, because of the enclave that is surrounded by natural greenery. Next to this is another important ruin which is the altar of Hiero II. It was built in the third century BC and was so large that it allowed 450 oxen to be sacrificed at the same time. To view the amphitheater, you must buy an entrance ticket to the whole park. It's expensive, about 9 euros, but it is the only way to see these Roman ruins.
Although only ruins remain to give the place importance, it was the first Doric temple in Sicily and with imagination and few columns left standing one can get an idea of its original splendor. To see ruins consists of a little bit of that and to see this temple, or what is left of it, you don´t have to go much from the center.
The island within an island, you can walk along the Lungomare Syracuse enjoying fantastic views. We were practically going around the city again because we didn´t want to miss anything marvelous or its views to the sea. It´s not good to walk the entire way, there are trams that stop and you have to go on the road a little but its worth it to take your time and enjoy.
I fell in love with this place the moment I arrived. The fountain is gorgeous, fascinating, almost alive, we were watched for a while, then continued our walk and could not give it the attention it deserved. It is surrounded by palaces that make it even more spectacular. The most famous is Palzzo Lanza.
Along the road that leads to the historic centre of Ortigia along Viale Matteotti, you'll reach the Palazzo Greco. Inside, in a tiny courtyard, you can admire the fountain of the Loggia. The fountain decorates the entrance of this building that houses the museum of drama. Here you can see costumes, sketches, film stills, and movies.
The Archaeological Museum of Syracuse, also known as the museum Paolo Orsi, one of the most important tourist spots in this ancient Sicilian city. It specialises in Greek artifacts found during excavations in Syracuse, including bronze and ceramics from the Temple of Athena and Apollo. This space clearly shows the historical and architectural heritage of Syracuse.
The fortress was initially for the protection of the port of Ortigia. Its name derives from Byzantine commander George Maniace who reconquered the city from the Arabs in the eleventh century, and started it's construction. In the thirteenth century, the fortress was expanded to be used as a castle, and over time, new elements have been added; such as the stone bridge, and various decorative elements, in addition to some partial reconstructions. It is currently undergoing restoration, but you can visit a part. From the top of the wall you can see part of the beautiful island of Ortigia.
Throughout my life as a traveler, I have seen the interior of many cathedrals. Most are beautiful but there comes a time when the ones with something special stick in your memory. This is the case, I had never seen a cathedral with a Greek temple inside, that makes it special. It´s different and worth a visit.
Along the outer belt of the island of Ortigia (Syracuse) you can see several bastions which once formed the defensive walls, protecting the city from the attack of the ransacking Spaniards. The renovated walls have become a real symbol of the island.
Thinking about your trip and wondering what to do in Syracuse? The majority of the things to do in Syracuse are concentrated in the Neapolis Park and Ortigia Island, which is connected by three bridges to the mainland.
Neapolis is a fascinating neighbourhood in Siracusa stemming from the ancient Greek polis, and is currently the most important financial and commercial district of the city. The area also features some of the most important archaeological places to visit in Syracuse, including the Greek Theatre, the Roman Amphitheatre, the Altar of Hiero, and the Arch of Augustus.
Nearby is another of the great things to see in Syracuse: Ortigia Island. The island boasts the Fountain of Arethusa, the Temple of Apollo, and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, built in the sixth century. In addition to all these exciting historical Syracuse attractions, other points of interest include the Tomb of Archimedes, the Basilica of Santa Lucia extra Moenia, the Castello Maniace, and the Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco.
On Minube you can find out about lots of stuff to do in Syracuse besides seeing the typical sites. We recommend you have a browse through the Syracuse activities and attractions in Syracuse today and discover all the possibilities. Get planning now!