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The Siracusa Institute is located in Ortigia, a small but picturesque island in the historical centre of the City of Siracusa, Italy. Ortigia is an extremely popular destination for tourism, shopping and entertainment, and comprises a substantial local community. Two bridges connect the island to mainland Sicily and to Siracusa city centre.

Siracusa is a historic Italian city located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, overlooking the Ionian Sea. The city is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, archeological zone and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city - founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and Teneans - played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world and the most important city-state of Magna Graecia. Siracusa was once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all."

In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site along with the Necropolis of Pantalica. The city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. It is also a good area for visiting the south-eastern corner of Sicily, including the Baroque towns of Ragusa and Noto, several archaeological sites, and the lively city of Catania.



The City

Siracusa and Ortigia are amazing places to be discovered. Their monuments will let you travel across different historical periods and artistic styles. The following are just some of the things that you can see. 

Greek period
The Temple of Apollo, adapted to a church in Byzantine times and to a mosque under Arab rule.
The Fountain of Arethusa, a pond surrounded by papyrus reeds and formed by a freshwater spring near the sea. According to a legend, the nymph Arethusa, hunted by Alpheus, took shelter here.
The Greek Theatre, built in c. 470 B.C., whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks, and later modified by the Romans, who adapted it to their circus games. Nowadays, in May and June, dramas by famous Greek authors are still staged at the Greek Theatre. Near the theatre are the latomìe, stone quarries, also used as prisons in ancient times. The most famous latomìa is the Orecchio di Dionisio ("Ear of Dionysius").
The Amphitheatre, of Roman Imperial age. It was partly carved out from the rock. In the centre of the area is a rectangular space which was used for the scenic machinery.

Christian period
The cathedral (Italian: Duomo) was built by bishop Zosimo in the 7th century over the great Temple of Athena (5th century BC), on Ortigia island. This was a Doric edifice with six columns on the short sides and 14 on the long sides: these can still be seen incorporated in the walls of the current church.
Church of Santa Lucìa alla Badìa, a Baroque edifice built after the 1693 earthquake. It houses the Burial of St. Lucy by Caravaggio
Basilica of St. John the Evangelist, built by the Normans over an ancient crypt of the martyr San Marciano. It includes the Catacombs of San Giovanni, an underground necropolis dating back to the fourth century, with thousands of tombs and several frescoes.
Sanctuary of Madonna della Lacrime (Lady of Tears), a huge concrete cone church built over a Madonna statue that cried in 1954.

Castello Maniace, constructed between 1232 and 1240, is an example of the military architecture of Frederick II's reign.
The important Archaeological Museum, with collections including findings from the mid-Bronze Age to 5th century BC.
The Castle of Euryalos, built 9 kilometres (6 miles) outside the city by Dionysius the Elder and which was one of the most powerful fortresses of ancient times.
Palazzo Bellomo, whose museum houses Antonello da Messina's Annunciation (1474).
The Mikveh: a bath used for the purpose of ritual immersion in Judaism, built during the Byzantine era. It is situated in the Giudecca: the ancient Jewish Ghetto of Syracuse.
• In the outdoor market in Ortigia you can find the freshest and finest fish, vegetables and fruits available. The experience and color are memorable.

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The Sea

The area of Siracusa offers several amazing beaches. Marzamemi, Portopalo, Brucoli are just some of them.

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Contact Us

The Siracusa Institute

Via Logoteta 27, 96100 Siracusa - Italy


Telephone: +39 0931 414515

Fax: +39 0931 67622