SIRACUSA, located on the southeastern coast of the Sicily, is considered one of the most beautiful cities on the island, so much so that it has been declared UNESCO heritage. Its most beautiful historical and artistic jewels are enclosed in Ortigia, the oldest center of the entire city.

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Ortigia and the Cathedral of Syracuse

Ortigia bears on its monuments the signs of its history, made up of dominations by the Greeks, the Byzantines, up to the Aragonese and the Arabs. This is essentially an islet, connected to the rest of the city since Umbertino bridge: past the latter, where the statue of Archimedes born in Syracuse stands out and, after passing the marina, you are in Piazza Pancali where the vestiges of the ancient arise lives Doric of Apollo, among the oldest in Sicily.

La church dedicated to Nativity of Holy Mary dominates the spacious elliptical square, refined and of a blinding white: the Cathedral of Syracuse it was born on a nucleus dating back to the 1693th century BC consisting of the temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Despite being seriously damaged by the terrible earthquake of 2.400, today the church shows a splendid facade in a mix of Rococo and Baroque styles: inside the columns of the temple are still visible, despite XNUMX years having passed.

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From Piazza Duomo to the Castle

Su Piazza Duomo there are many elegant noble buildings, such as for example Borgia Palace, Palazzo Benevento e the Church of Santa Lucia, whose prestige is inside as it preserves the canvas "The burial of Santa Lucia", a work by Caravaggio.

Leaving Piazza Duomo, which preserves an underground system made up of tunnels and galleries under the pavement, you can reach the legendary Arethusa source: a circular basin of fresh water, dotted with papyrus. Legend has it that it is none other than the nymph Arethusa, turned into a spring by Artemis, to escape the court of Alfeo, son of Oceano.

The Maniace seafront which leads directly to the Maniace Castle, at the end of theisola of Ortigia, named in honor of the Byzantine leader who drove the Arabs out of the city. The square structure, with cylindrical corner towers, dates back to the XNUMXth century and is imposing from the sea, so desired by Frederick II of Swabia precisely to scare enemies. A walk on the ramparts and towers offers spectacular views of the city and the sea in front.