The Giudecca

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

At Giudecca the air element is linked to a spectacular open-air church, which was once the Jewish quarter’s synagogue: the basilica of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist).
The basilica, also known as the church of San Giovannello, is located in Piazza del Precursore.
The synagogue’s origin is attested by archive documents and the discovery of two inscriptions in Hebrew now walled over, one in the apse and the other in the adjacent Casa Bianca. The place of prayer of the Jewish community of Syracuse was later converted into a Christian church.
The stone façade was built in 1380. It has a beautiful portal and a rose window .

Chiesa San Giovannello
La facciata della Basilica di S. Giovannello, costruita nel 1380, presenta un ampio portale e un rosone, una grande finestra di forma circolare.
La sua particolarità risiede nel fatto che il portale, il rosone e la parte più alta della facciata non sono allineati sullo stesso asse verticale e per questo, potrebbero disorientare chi osserva la chiesa dall’esterno. Questa caratteristica è dovuta al fatto che la basilica ha subito nel corso dei secoli molte modifiche ed è stata utilizzata per scopi differenti. Probabilmente l’aggiunta dei due elementi, il portale e il rosone, risale dunque a periodi storici differenti. Sulla sinistra spiccano in alto due celle campanarie. La chiesa appare oggi a cielo aperto, senza tetto.
La parte interna ha la forma di una croce ed è suddivisa in tre aree, chiamate “navate”, grazie alla presenza di colonne e archi.

The portal, rose window and apex of the façade are not aligned on the same vertical axis, and for this reason can disorient those observing the church from the outside.
This unique aspect is due to the fact that the basilica has undergone many changes over the centuries and has been used for different purposes. The addition of the two elements, the portal and the rose window, probably dates back to different historical periods. On the left are two belfries at the top. Today, the church has no roof. The interior is shaped like a cross and is divided into three areas called “naves”. The three naves are separated by columns and arches.

Giudecca and water. The ritual baths: the Casa Bianca mikveh

Nature in Neapolis

The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

A journey to Pantalica

Ortygia

Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion

Neapolis and the earth element. Places of performance: the Greek theatre and the Roman amphitheatre

Neapolis and fire. The Altar of Hieron and the sacrificial fire

Ortygia and the earth element. Piazza del Duomo: discovering the origins.

Ortygia and the air element. The Gods of Olympus and the Temple of Apollo.

The Neapolis

Ortygia and fire. Archimedes and the invention of the burning mirrors

Pantalica and air. The skies of Pantalica: from hawks to bats

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Pantalica and fire. The Metal Age: objects from the culture of Pantalica

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

Pantalica and the earth element

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

Giudecca

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse