Holiday in Syracuse
Its territory encompasses more than three thousand years of history, as evidenced by the countless monuments, archaeological sites and museums, real archives of the glorious history of Sicily. The mild temperature and virtual year round sunshine make Sicily a popular destination in all seasons. Our holiday packages to Syracuse are constantly updated to guarantee tourists a totally relaxing break.
Exploring the city in depth, understanding and appreciating all its facets would take months. However there is a route that will make the most of your time and takes into account the opening times of the main attractions. Start from the Island of Ortigia, where you can visit the Temple of Apollo. Dating from the 5th century BC, it is the oldest Doric stone temple in Sicily. Surrounded by columns, six on the shortest sides and seventeen on the longest, it has imposing and very closely positioned monolithic columns. A second row of columns on the eastern side preceded the area in front of the cell, emphasising, as was often the case in the archaic temples of Sicily, the primary aspect of the front. Continuing along Via Matteotti you'll come to Piazza Archimede, where you can admire the Fountain of Diana. Several roads lead off the piazza, including Via Roma, the main street lined with typical Sicilian shops. From here continue to Via Minerva and visit the Duomo. The cathedral stands on a site which has always been a place of worship. An initial temple, erected in the 6th century BC, was replaced by the Temple of Athena (or Minerva) built in honour of the goddess by the tyrant Gelone, which was subsequently incorporated into the existing architecture. The imposing Doric columns are still visible on the left side, both outside and inside the building, while the existing façade is one of the best examples of Baroque architecture in Syracuse. The internal structure has a triple nave basilica floor plan.
The city's cathedral overlooks Piazza Duomo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy, surrounded by numerous Baroque buildings and a host of bars and restaurants. Take a break and admire Palazzo Vermexio, the local council building, the Archbishop's Palace and the Palazzo Borgia del Casale. Walking down Via Pompeo Picherali you'll come to the Fountain of Arethusa, from where a seaside stroll will bring you to the entrance to Maniace Castle.
Frederick II's castle, later renamed Maniace, was built in the mid-13th century. Since the demilitarisation of the area after the World Wars, several restoration projects have brought back the splendour of the castle. The itinerary continues to the Neapolis Archaeological Park, where you can admire the Roman Amphitheatre, the Altar of Hieron, the Greek Theatre, the Latomia of Paradise, the Rope-Makers' Cave and the Ear of Dionysius. Situated in the north-western area of the modern city, the archaeological park is an open-air museum and includes not only the most monumental part of the city but also many testimonies of various historical eras, from the protohistoric age to late antiquity and Byzantine times.
Syracuse's other main attraction is the sea. Arenella Beach is one of the best known in the city and suited to the most diverse tourist requirements. Punta Asparano, the Maddalena Peninsula and the other beaches along the coast of Syracuse, including Eloro Beach (a long stretch of fine golden sand), are unmissable destinations for any holiday in Syracuse.