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Syracuse

Archaeology

Our most recommended Syracuse Archaeology

Syracuse: Greek Theater and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

1. Syracuse: Greek Theater and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Visit one of the largest Greek theaters in the Mediterranean, the Ear of Dionysus, the Latomie, and the Cordari Cave with a guide. Step back in time as you learn about the history and myths of the Neapolis Archaeological Park. If you choose a tour in Italian, attend the show Il mito di Aretusa. After reaching the entrance of the Neapolis in Syracuse, you will meet our guide waiting for you. You will carry out a short briefing, where the origins of this city will be explained to you and then enter inside the archaeological park of Neapolis. Here it will be possible to visit the Latomie, the ancient stone quarries from which the material for the construction of the city has been extracted for centuries. Formerly places of heavy work and imprisonment, today the Latomie have changed their faces by covering themselves with greenery.  Visiting the latomie you will meet the legendary Ear of Dionysius, known for its typical shape and for its particular acoustics. You will be told the story of the tyrant Dionysius and the legend of this cave. You will continue with the view of the Grotta dei Cordari and then reach the Greek Theater. From the upper terrace you can admire the suggestive Fountain of the Nymphaeum and the wonderful panorama overlooking the large port. After leaving the theater, you will move to the Altar of Hieron II, the largest stone altar built in the Greek world. The last monument you will visit in Neapolis is the Roman Amphitheater. At this monument the guide will show you the Roman phase of the city, the characteristics of the building and the particularities of the gladiatorial games. If you have chosen the option with the theatrical show, stick around after your tour to watch Il mito di Aretusa.

Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Tour

2. Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Tour

Meet your certified guide at the entrance gate of the Neapolis Archaeological Park and visit the most important ancient Greek and Roman monuments in Syracuse. Discover the history and archaeological importance of this ancient Greek sight from your knowledgeable guide. During your walking tour, see the ancient Greek theatre, cut in the rock of the Yemenite Hill, and explore the "Latomie del Paradiso", an ancient stone quarry with beautiful local flora. Next, marvel at the legendary "Ear of Dionysius", located inside the quarries. Be amazed by this grotto famed for its shape and echoing sounds. Finish your tour with a visit to the altar of Hieron and the Roman amphitheater.

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

3. Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

Learn the ancient history of Sicily on a full-day sightseeing tour that takes in the archaeological park of Neapolis, home to the majority of classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in Catania, transfer to the ruins of Syracuse, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk you will discover many old Roman streets, as well as monuments such as the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks. Near the Greek Theatre, you will see the latomie, including the limestone cave known as the “Ear of Dyonisius,” as well as the Christian Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Admire the Amphitheatre of the Roman imperial age, and more. Then, continue to Ortygia Island to experience the historic heart of Syracuse. Located at the park’s eastern end, and separated by a narrow channel, Ortygia is filled with Greek temples, Christian churches, and Arabian streets. Visit the Arethusa fountain and Piazza del Duomo, where the baroque palaces, such as Beneventano del Bosco Palace and Senate Palace are among the most beautiful in Sicily. After lunch (own expense), go to the small town of Noto, noted for its unique style of Sicilian Baroque architecture, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wander the open air museum and beautiful Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the many palaces and churches that, grouped together, are known as the “Stone Garden.”

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

4. From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

Enjoy three beautiful places in Sicily with this full-day tour from Catania. Listen to historical facts and facinating anecdotes with your audio guide as you stop at the Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortygia, and Noto.  Meet your driver in Duomo square in the center of Catania and sit back and relax in the comfortable van on the drive to the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse. Purchase tickets to the park to admire the magnificent Greek theater, Roman Amphitheater, and stone quarries. Continue to the ancient fortified island of Ortygia. Spend some time wandering the streets to discover the mythical Fountain of Arethusa, Piazza Duomo, the fortress walls, and stunning Baroque churches and palaces. Finally, drive to the town of Noto where you can discover the Sicilian capital of Baroque architecture. Have some free time to see sights like the Fountain of Hercules, and noble palaces like Palazzo Astuto and Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao. Return to the meeting point in Catania.

Syracuse and Noto Full-Day Tour

5. Syracuse and Noto Full-Day Tour

Explore the Greek history of Syracuse and see the remains of the temples of Apollo and Athena on the island of Ortygia. Visit the Greek theater, see the latomie (stone quarries) of Neapolis and discover the site of ancient Epipoli. Pass the cathedral, where the origins of the Greek Temple of Athena date back to the 5th century BC. Learn the legend of Arethusa, patron figure of Syracuse and get the chance to see paintings by Caravaggio in the Basilica of Santa Lucia.    Next, discover the "Garden of Stone" at Noto, renowned for its Baroque heritage and reconstruction on Meti Hill following an earthquake in 1693.

Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto Transfer and Tour

6. Catania: Syracuse, Ortigia and Noto Transfer and Tour

After being picked up from your accommodation in Catania, visit the magnificent Neapolis in Syracuse. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, this famous archaeological park houses a Greek theatre. With the help of a guide sheet, admire the impressive ruins of this stunning site.  After visiting Syracuse, journey to the lovely peninsula of Ortigia. Starting from the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, enjoy a gentle stroll to reach the spectacular white cathedral of Saint Mary of the Immaculate Conception. Take in this idyllic cathedral, before stopping off at the Fountain of Arethusa, a legendary fresh water spring. For lunch you have the option to enjoy a classic sicilian snack made of Tavola Calda, with water and red wine. Or, if you prefer, you will have 1 hour of free time to have lunch in one of the amazing restaurants in the alleys of the city. Upon reaching Noto, you will explore this jewel of Sicilian Baroque architecture, which is often considered to be an open-air museum! Admire the extraordinary architecture of its many palaces, churches and stairways. After an exhilarating day, sit back and relax as you are taken back to your hotel in the comfort of a luxurious vehicle. 

From Taormina: Full-Day Guided Tour of Syracuse

7. From Taormina: Full-Day Guided Tour of Syracuse

For those traveling to Sicily, Syracuse is not to be missed. Once the most important city in Magna Graecia, it defeated the mighty Athens in 413 and was home to many a great Greek, including the inimitable Archimedes. At the height of its economic, political, and military power, the city had a population of 300,000 and, according to Cicero, was "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all.” Join a full-day guided bus tour of this great city, which includes a visit to its archaeological sites as well as the island of Ortygia. First, visit the archaeological site, which is situated in the northwest of the town and is home to a staggering number of well-preserved Greek and Roman remains. The main attraction is undoubtedly the Greek theater, which dates back at least until the 5th Century BC. Its cavea is amongst the largest ever built, its 59 rows could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. Just over the ridge from the theater, you will see the old stone quarries where today there grows a fragrant lemon orchard. Also, visit the famous Ear of Dionysius, a 20m-high, slender pointed arch cut into the rock face about 65m deep. The rock was once used by Dionysius the Tyrant as a prison for his bitterest enemies. After stopping by the Roman amphitheater, continue on to the Archaeological Museum, which contains a great collection of exhibits from all over the Syracuse area. Spend the second half of your day wandering around the beautiful island of Ortygia. It may be a small island, but it's packed with over 2,500 years of history. Architectural styles vary widely, encompassing Greek and Roman remains, Medieval Norman buildings, and a great deal of understated Baroque visible in the main cathedral. In the afternoon, take a break to relax in one of the island's many restaurants, trattorias or bars, as you take in the sights of the lagoon.

3-Hour Siracusa Segway PT Authorized Tour

8. 3-Hour Siracusa Segway PT Authorized Tour

The grandeur of an ancient city that repulsed Athens remains to be discovered in Siracusa, or Syracuse. It contains some of Italy's most impressive Greek ruins. The mists of time quickly envelop us as we roll off toward the remains of the encircling wall built by Dionysius I, and the temple to Apollo. Next we head to Piazza Archimede, named after the ancient city's most famous citizen, with its beautiful fountain. Via Roma leads us to the elegant cathedral, its backbone made of Greek columns. Past other baroque monuments in the Old Town area on Ortigia Island such as Benevento del Bosco Palace and the Town Hall, we ride to Arethusa Spring, with its papyrus plants. We pass other landmarks before crossing Umberto Bridge. The Regional Archaeological Museum and Catacombs of San Giovanni are on the way to the Neapolis, where we can see the massive Greek theatre, the Roman amphitheatre and the "Ear of Dionysius," a chamber cut into limestone where Dionysius reportedly imprisoned adversaries so he could hear what they said echoing off the walls.

Explore Syracuse

9. Explore Syracuse

Imagine the Greek tragedies in the largest Greek theater of Sicily and poke your head in the cave called Dionysian ear where the prisoners' every whisper was brought to the surface by its acoustics. Stroll down the cobbled streets of the picturesque old town of Ortigia with its intricate Baroque architecture, the majestic cathedral built on layers of history. All without missing the town's elegant shops and quaint cafes.  This tour starts in the morning and we leave the resorts at 07:30. After 2.5 hrs we arrive at Siracuse where we will visit Siracuse's archaeological site. The guide will take you on a 90-minute tour before we continue to Ortigia- the old town of Siracuse. There the guided tour continues for another 90 minutes. After this you will have 2 hrs free time at your disposal to wander around the town of Siracusa or maybe have a nice meal? Around 15.30 we will leave Siracusa and return to the hotels, where we arrive about 2 hrs later.

Syracuse: Highlights of Ortigia Guided Walking Tour

10. Syracuse: Highlights of Ortigia Guided Walking Tour

Discover a combination of Greek, medieval, and Baroque architecture on this guided walking tour of Ortigia island in Syracuse. Uncover the secrets of Ortigia as you visit a crypt that as a World War II air-raid shelter. Meet your guide in Piazza Emanuele Pancali square in front of the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo. Enter the Church of San Filippo Apostolo alla Giudecca and visit the crypt below the church where people took shelter during bombing campaigns in WWII. See an old well which was once used as a baptismal font under the church before continuing towards Piazza Archimede, where you can view the Fountain of Diana. View the fountain which depicts the Nymph Arethusa at the moment in which she transforms into a spring. Make your way to Piazza Duomo square where you can purchase entrance to the Syracuse Cathedral and independently visit its underground Hypogeum. Finish your tour at the mythical Arethusa spring which is just meters away from the sea. You can also choose the option with the visit of the Maniace Castle, where you can visit of the interiors of this medieval fortess, sourranded by a unique landscape.

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What people are saying about Syracuse

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 171 reviews

The trip was well organized and went well even though there were many participants. The guide was knowledgeable and the driver excellent in the narrow streets. The destinations were interesting and there was a suitable number of them and enough free time.

Having a guide makes everything much more interesting, it's really worth it. Congratulations to Sebastiano, whom we have bombarded with questions. Emma and Flavia, 12 and 10 years old, were fascinated by the place and the many curiosities.

Eva was an excellent guide. There were no questions she couldnt answer. We asked so many questions snd she knew everything. We enjoyed the tour and we were blessed to have Eva as our guide.

Great experience. Everything was excellent! Salvo was great guide. We can recommend

Great day trip. Syracuse/Ortigia & Noto were specular! Josef great host.