Syracuse Italy

Landscape of Sicily

Where is Syracuse


Syracuse Italy city lies on the eastern coast of Sicily, in a charming setting with a picturesque harbour bounded by the Maddalena Peninsula and the island of Ortygia, which is practically connected to the mainland. Syracuse (Italian Siracusa, Sicilian Sarausa, Classical Greek Συράκουσαι [syráːkuːsai], Latin Syracusae) is an Italian city on the eastern coast of Sicily and the capital of the province of Syracuse.

Once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", the ancient center of Syracuse is on the UNESCO.

Streets of Syracuse

 

Syracuse today

The Syracuse - Siracusa of our time is a city of art and of great archaeological interest, and industrial activities. The city, especially the part on the island of Ortygia is marked by its clean, white buildings, the beatuy of its Medieval and Baroque architecture and the imposing presence of vestiges of its past. Its most typical crafts products include ceramics representing scenes of Sicilian life, wooden and leather articles and the typical objects made of papyrus, the feather in the cap of the ingenious local craftsmen.

Ortigia peninsula - Syracuse

 

Shows include the Classical plays which are performed in the Greek Theatre every two years, and the processions with the silver statue of St. Lucia on her saints day (13th December) and on the first Sunday in May. For those who want to go shooping, there is a daily market in Piazza Pancali which offers all kinds of clothing articles and food products (especially fruit and vegetables and fish).

Syracuse city Silhuete Planing trip thrue Syracuse Tunel under SyracuseArchimede Square - Syracuse

Syracuse garden

Syracusa town history

 Syracuse Italy was one of teh most important colonies of Magna Grecia and according to reliable sources was founded by Corinthian settlers in 734 B.C. The first settlements were on the island of Ortygia, which became the original core of a much vaster inhabited area. In Classical times Syracuse was in fact made up of five towns:Ortygia, Achradina, Tyche, Epipolae and Neapolis. The city grew rapidly in prosperity and military strenght, and soon became a magnetic centre of power for the entire Mediterranean basin, defeating the Carathagininans at Hymera (480 B.C.) with the help of Agrigentum.

Apollo Temple - Syracuse ItalyOld town on a slopes of Mount Tauro hill

In 474 B.C. the Syracusans under the comand of Hiero, got the better of the Etruscans in the naval batle of  Cumae, which placed a limit on the territorial expansion of the latter people toward the south. In 412 B.C. it was the turn of the Athenians to pay the price of opposing the might of Syracuse.

Apollo Temple Syracuse -Siracusa:

This temple of Apollo, built in the 6. century BC , is the oldest peripteral Doric temple (enclosed by columns) in Sicily. According to one inscription it was dedicated to Apollo; according to Cicero it was dedicated to Artemis - before being transformed into Byzantine church, then mosque, and back again into church by the Normans.The remains of the peristyle columns and part of the wall of the sacred precinct are still in evidence. Defeated and deported to the Latomie, the great majority of the prisoners met a terrible end. At the time of Dionysius the defenses of the city were fortified; Syracuse was on constant guard against attack by its eternal rival, Carthage. After various vicissitudes, the city was taken by subterfuge during the Second Punic Wars by the Romans (212 B.C), who thus broke down the strenguous defense of the Syracusans.

The latter had used, during the siege, the famous burning glasses invented by Archimedes who met his death during the looting and violence that followed the Roman victory. When the power of Rome declined, Syracuse suffered repeated attacks by Franks, Vandals and Goths; united with the Byzantine Empire (first half of the sixth century) it housed the court of Constans II, who was assassinated there in 668.

Apollo temple Syracuse ItalyOccupied by the Arabs in 878, it lost the important administrative role it had played up to then. In the second half of the eleventh century it was taken over by the Normans, who were followed by the Angevins and after the events of the Sicilian Vespers the Aragonese, who brought back to the town its prestige and authority. At the time of Charles V (sixteenth century), the citys defenses were further reinforced. Under the terms of the Treaty of Utrecht, Syracuse was handed over to the Kingdom of Savoy and then to the Austrians and Bourbons. In the first half of the nineteenth century, the city was the scene of a popular revolt, hardly put down by the Bourbon government the consequences of which made themselves felt right up to the time of the unification of Italy, when Syracuse became again part of the homeland.