Siracusa Things to Do

  • Tempio di Apollo
    Tempio di Apollo
    by croisbeauty
  • Porte Grande Siracusa/Ortigia Boat Trip
    Porte Grande Siracusa/Ortigia Boat Trip
    by rosata
  • Vests, vests and more vests
    Vests, vests and more vests
    by rosata

Most Recent Things to Do in Siracusa

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    Siracusa facades

    by croisbeauty Updated Sep 9, 2011

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    Every place tells it's own stories from early days up to today, facades do tell stroies about the people who live in the places. However, facades tell stories about visitors too, do they just walking around or observing the place. Sometimes we see what nobody else have seen, but also, we don't see what everybody else have seen.
    Do we remember place of our visit by it's highlits, historic sights, parks or restaurants or we remember it by some small details cought by our eyes?

    facade in Siracusa

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    Museo Archeologico Paolo Orsi

    by Lcannar Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    This was one of the most well laid out museums I have been to. It led you through from beginning to end so you would not wonder if you had missed something. It was heavy on the potter, so if you don't like that, well just walk by that part fast.

    Open Tuesday to Saturday 9:00-14:00

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    Bellomo Palace, Siracusa Regional Gallery

    by aquatic Written Jun 8, 2010

    It is not a large gallery, but you'll be pleased to find here the painting by Caravaggio "Burial of Saint Lucy".

    The entrance fee is $8. And, of course, it is not an appropriate fee for such a small collection, but I considered it to be my donation to the city, or the museum, just to stay there and don't close its doors to public.

    The gallery includes several sections with Byzantine, Medieval and Renaissance sculptures. The Art Gallery contains paintings of the centuries XIV-XVIII, and, in particular, the " San Lorenzo ", attributed to Lorenzo Veneziano (1356-1372) and the "Annunciation" by Antonello da Syracuse (1430 c.-1479). There are also furniture, textiles, ceramics, potteries and works of jewellery.

    Bellomo Palace, Siracusa Regional Gallery
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    • Archeology
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Roman Amphitheatre

    by aquatic Written Jun 8, 2010

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    This amphitheatre was dug in the rock possibly in fourth or third century BC. Elliptical in shape and measuring 70 x 40 metres, the centre was occupied by a tank in which water was brought by two channels. The stairs were originally covered with slabs of stone, with two entrances while under the stairs there was a corridor which allowed the entry of wild beasts and gladiators.

    Roman Amphitheatre, Siracusa
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    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Archeological Park in Siracusa

    by aquatic Written Jun 8, 2010

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    Have at least 2 hours for this park. I spent 4 hours because the Ear of Dionysius surprised us with a wonderful accustics and we wished to play with sounds more and more laughing and singing like crazy inside of it.

    Roman amtheteatre is located closer to the entrance. I guess, to preserve it better, they don't let you walk inside of it.

    Greek amphitheatre, a craved in stone ancient theater located further away and open for everybody to walk its stairs. Once you walk around it there is a wonderfull view of the city opens up. It has open semicircular form and it looks great from different points of view. Make sure to walk around at the top and go to the stage.

    The entrance to the archeological museum is also included in the price. Orsi Museum is located a couple of blocks from the entrance to the park. Leave about 3 hours for the museum if you interested to take a look at everything. If you are more thorough visitor and want to read about each artifact, you will need more then 4 hours. This museum has a large collection and, I believe, it is the most significant in Sicily.

    Archeological Park in Siracusa
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    • Architecture

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    The fish market in Siracusa

    by aquatic Written Jun 8, 2010

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    I always go the market in every city when I have a chance, sinse I visited the market in Florence 3 years ago. If you are just a little interested in local produce and cuisine, I definitely have to step by town's market.

    In Siracusa, everyone sung in the market place. The sellers sung their offerings and prices, the buyers sung their replies. It was fun to listen and watch. Fresh fish, just caought in the morning, fresh vegetables and fruits, and of course fresh oranges and tangerines look so colorful! I took many pictures if these raw ingredints that look like a piece of art by themselves. Too bad, I did not have a kitchen to cook!

    Siracusa market
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    • Food and Dining
    • Family Travel

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    Visit the Siracusa Archaeological Museum

    by MikeBird Updated Apr 11, 2010

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    The Paolo Orsi Archaeological Museum, located on Viale Teocrito opposite the Lacrime Basilica in Siracusa, provides some excellent exhibits that enable the visitor to put some detail on the archaeological sites in the region. The displays are clearly labelled and chronologically arranged. There's a rather detailed visitors leaflet available free of charge which can help you get more background but we just enjoyed looking at the exhibits and marvelling at their intricacy and detail.

    The entry fee is 4.5Euros for adults. Photography inside the Museum is not allowed.

    Entry tickets - for the museum The inner courtyard of the Museum
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    Shop locally - try the daily market

    by MikeBird Written Apr 11, 2010

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    The market in Ortigyia is located in 3 side streets on the eastern side of the island and near to Apollo's temple. It's a daily weekday market which closes around midday.

    We were not disappointed by our regular visits to the market in Ortigyia. You'll not find any meat for sale but the fish is wonderful; very varied and undoubtedly fresh. Other stalls were selling fresh vegetables and fruit in season (I wouldn't recommend the prickly pears - they're very pippy but the huge oyster mushrooms were fantastic). There was one busy trailer selling a wide variety of cheeses and sausages. A few other stalls selling hats, scarves, leather goods, second hand books and somewhat tacky cheap imported goods were nowhere near as popular as the food stalls.

    For local colour the market stalls are hard to beat. Fish and fruit/vegetable stalls provide good photographic material in a mouthwatering sort of way. And for the real thing, one trader was selling grilled peppers, baked onions and roasted artichokes all warm and straight out of the hot charcoal - the peppers were delicious. Because it was leading up to New Year many people were buying their steaks of swordfish - perhaps a special treat to welcome in the New Year?

    If you're in self catering accommodation you'll surely want to try out some of the market produce - you're unlikely to be disappointed.

    Plenty of variety Local vegetables for sale

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    Enjoy the Christmas illuminations in Ortigyia

    by MikeBird Updated Apr 11, 2010

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    We were delighted to find that the small, old city of Ortigyia had been decorated with some really pleasing and imaginative Christmas illuminations. These bright and colourful lights added a genuine festive feel to the town and yet were not 'over the top' or gaudy. In true Italian fashion they could be described as very stylish.

    Lighting up the main shpping street in Ortigyia Lights on the bridge in Ortigyia
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    Explore Ortygia in Winter - fewer crowds

    by MikeBird Updated Mar 12, 2010

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    The island of Ortygia, just south of the rest of Siracusa, is the oldest part of the city. Its narrow, balcony lined streets are fascinating and full of atmosphere to take in. Some parts of it are looking very run down and empty and yet other buildings have been renovated and now look very smart from their makeover.

    The heart of the island is the Piazza Duomo in which the Church of Santa Lucia is located. The church, deserving a tip in its own right, provides an impressive setting and backdrop to sitting at one of the two cafes and to take in the sun whilst enjoying some serious people watching.

    We were there during the week between Christmas and New Year and found the island pleasantly uncrowded but could imagine that in the summer it could be very different. Most places were open - no shortage of restaurants and shops with touristy souvenirs. The Aquarium at the Arethusa fountain appeared to be open and the Museum dei Bellomo provided the venue for a series of musical events. We went to an hour long, early evening, concert of string quartet plus voice and oboe. A very pleasant preamble to a good meal out in one of the many trattoria and pizzerias.

    A street in Ortygia Caf�� culture in the Piazza del Duomo Christmas decorations inthe Piazza Arethusa Fountain in Ortygia
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    • Historical Travel

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    Admire the architecture in Ortygia

    by MikeBird Written Jan 18, 2010

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    By looking carefully and wandering slowly around Ortygia you can see some wonderful buildings and details that a more casual observer may not spot. Maybe it's the birdwatcher in me but I really like to see the careful filigree under the balconies, the care put into the door signs, the haphazard way buildings can be built next to each other and yet have survived ( some only just) for tens of years.
    Do have a look at the photos. Hopefully they will persuade you to think about visiting Ortygia.

    The waterfront approach to Ortygia Eastern front of Ortygia The main thoroughfare to the Piazza dei Duomo Fancy a rest? Ortygia streets Waterfront at dusk
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    Try out the local beaches

    by MikeBird Written Jan 14, 2010

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    Siracusa has apparently got some small beaches of its own. We found one near the 'piccolo port' but it looked as though it was privately owned and certainly in mid winter it was all very closed up.

    Instead we took the road out south to Arenella which has a very nice sweeping beach with a small car park just behind. There were no facilities but then it was the end of December. We'd been lucky with the weather as we had bright sunshine and temperatures into the 20's Celcius. As a consequence there were quite a few people out enjoying the winter sun. In fact some people were swimming without wetsuits though I don't know if they were Italian. At the southern end of the beach it's possible to go for a walk through the coastal meadow; it's rocky foreshore gave the area a slightly more rugged feel, better than areas where the coastline is backed up by housing development which is the case at the other end of the beach.

    Further south is the resort of Fontaine Bianchi. This beach was totally deserted but clearly in the summer it will be very popular judging by the number of hotels that back onto it.

    Arenella beach Fontaine Bianchi Beach
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    Visit the Lacrime Basilica and shrine

    by MikeBird Updated Jan 12, 2010

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    Clearly visible from all over Siracusa this Basilica cathedral, completed in 1994, has a very distinctive shape owing to the architectural inspiration that came from the events and story surrounding a plaque. The Basilica's name of Lacrime is a clue because, back in 1953, a plaque of the Madonna's face is said to have developed tears which lasted for 5 days. The tears were scientifically tested at the time and validated as genuinely human. Sickly and disabled people are claimed to have been cured of their ills following their visit to the plaque. In recognition of this miracle the Sicilian church commissioned the sanctuary and named it 'Lacrime', the latin or Italian word for tears.

    Inside the huge upward sweep of the cathedral roof in its plain, grey concrete is austere but inspirational and uplifting at the same time. The altar, and at Christmas time the nativity crib, are the centre piece but around the edge are smaller alcoves of chapels one of which includes a replica of the plaque but now reconfigured as a complete statue - without tears. Another bay provides a display about the Turin Shroud.

    There are no entry fees to the Basilica but there is a small shop selling trinkets, candles and holy water. On the outside spare a moment to take a look from the balcony over the city and also admire the flowers on the unusual trees in the small garden. They look like a sort of Baobab but I'm really not sure; anyway their flowers were very attractive.

    Lacrime Basilica Interesting trees in the gardens Closeup of the flowers
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    • Arts and Culture

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  • MikeBird's Profile Photo

    Explore Neapolis: the new city archaeological park

    by MikeBird Written Jan 12, 2010

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    Apparently Neapolis means New city which suggests that the archaeological remains that are located in this central part of Siracusa represent, not the original settlement, but a later development of the city which is just as well because the sites are very extensive. The Greek theatre, the nearby roman amphitheatre and the colossal mass sacrificial slaughterground take up a large part of what is now called the Neapolis Archaeological Park that contains all three of these impressive structures and more. Perhaps this was the forerunner of what we would now call a theme park, where the citizens of Siracusa could go for entertainment and socialisation?

    Other people on VT have given more detailed descriptions of the greek theatre and the roman amphitheatre which in themselves would definitely be on a tourists itinerary but when they are so close together this park becomes a 'must see' place that is well worth the 9Euro adult entry fee. Included also is the Ear of Dionysus which is set in the corner of the enormous quarry from which much of the building's raw material will have been taken.

    It's a pity that the eastern end of the quarry had been cordoned off and entry prohibited. We would liked to have explored it but looking down from the road that encircles the site we could see that much of that end had become overgrown with weeds. Perhaps they only open it in the summer?

    We did see a few parties with tour guides but suspect the guides travelled with the groups. We didn't see any tours advertised in the Park itself. Perhaps these are run in the summer? Instead we used our own Guide book which provided all the information we needed.

    There is plenty of parking in the via Augustus which is next to the new Coach park where there are numerous stalls selling refreshments and souvenirs. The ticket office for the park is situated far away in the corner behind the stalls.

    You will comfortably spend at least a couple of hours exploring the park and at the end you can take a refreshing drink at the small café near the entrance. I hope you enjoy your visit - we did.

    The Greek Theatre in the archaeological park The Roman amphitheatre Inside the Ear of Dionysus Burial caves near the Greek theatre Lemon trees in the Neapolis quarry
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    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology

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    Fonte Aretusa

    by picek Updated Jan 6, 2010

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    Evening is the best time to see that famous ancient (mentioned already in 6th century BC) Siracusan freshwater fountain (spring) with clump of papyrus plant taking some part of the basin and few ducks swimming there. Those moments you'll see light changing and reflecting upon water surface both of the sea and the fountain yet freshwater feels darker. Who knows, it may has to do with myth related to the place and it was then named upon mythic nymph Aretusa.
    Lots of people come to admire that architectural beauty and it has all reasons for that: it's ancient in historical part of Siracusa, it's symbol of Siracusa, it's very interesting to look from the square above with unusal design and immagination, it is mysterious and it has vivid background of the sea and cityline at some point when you look from different angles. I don't even know how to describe all that when you only know true atmosphere if you stand there, observing.

    papyrus Aretusa, oh my... the square by the fountain
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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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