The Sicilian City of Syracuse is a wonderland. Echoes of ancient civilizations still resound in the streets of this coastal city, and Baroque architecture narrates its eventual rebirth as sun, sand and sky envelop it with their brilliance. A journey to this corner of Sicily awakens profound sensations, as if one were crossing the threshold of time into thousands of years ago.
We can feel it as we walk through Syracuse’s streets, where precious testimonials recall with great force the splendor of Magna Graecia, and step by step, accompany the visitor through the eras that impacted Syracuse’s history so strongly: i.e. the Romans and Byzantines, Arabs and Normans, Swabians and Aragonese. Here they all wrote a page or two of Sicilian history. Neapolis, Acradina, Ortygia, Tyche, and Epipoli are the quarters of the ancient city. Their names alone suffice to transport us into another dimension.
In the Park of Neapolis and on the Island of Ortygia, connected by three bridges to the mainland, we find ourselves in the thick of the monuments.
Immersed in the Iblea Valley and amidst Mediterranean vegetation is the Pantalica necropolis, a site of extraordinary archaeological value: findings include thousands of tombs dug in the rocks by the first inhabitants of the area. The tombs were successively used and amplified by the Greeks and the Romans.
Noto and Palazzolo Acreide are two of the eight cities of the Noto Valley, declared a World Heritage Site for the richness and prestige of its architecture, and considered among the highest expressions of 18th-Century, late Baroque in Europe.
The Iblei Mountains slope down gently towards the coast, enlivened by cliffs, bays, islets and tracts of white beaches. An expanse of emerald hues, enhanced by lines of cobalt blue and streaks of light, beautifully complements Syracuse’s marine landscape.