The Giudecca

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

Syracusan Jews settled mainly in Ortygia, in the urban fabric that aggregated from the Middle Ages onwards and which still reflected the ancient Greek structure.
vicoli GiudeccaThe Jewish quarter was formed of Vicolo I alla Giudecca, Via del Crocefisso, and the district “di li muragli”, where there were small houses with gardens and vineyards.
Many Jewish houses were built in the district “del pozzo che sbruffa” (lit: of the well that spurts), whose name probably referred to a well connected to the sea which water poured out from.
The district was dotted with buildings that had a lower floor dedicated to trade, to which were annexed courtyards with wells and gardens, and an upper floor used as a dwelling. The centre of the trading activities were the “platee”, a term indicating both squares and trade streets with workshops. Among the best known, there was the district of the Ferraria, its name given from the Italian word “ferraio” meaning blacksmith, due to the concentration of blacksmiths' shops , while in the area between Via Nizza and the San Giacomo belvedere there were the trappeti, more commonly known as olive oil mills.
Also known was the Cannamela quarter, the name of which keeps the memory alive of the workshops where the “ Cannamela ” (sugar cane) was refined.
In the area of Via Vittorio Veneto there was a fish market and various community ovens for cooking mazot , the unleavened bread of Passover.
The very lively and well-stocked markets were also an attraction for the Syracusans themselves, while the city quarter macellorum iudeorum, for the Jew’s ritual slaughter  of meat, was also located nearby.

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The Euryalus Fortress

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The architecture of the Piazza

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Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

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The Spanish fortification

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

Castello Maniace

Crypt of San Marciano

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Venationes

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Byzantine Pantalica

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The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Gladiator performances

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Senatorial Palace

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

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The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

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The Roman Amphitheatre