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 Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The Culture of Pantalica

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The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Jews, a wandering people

Neapolis from past to present

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Gladiator performances

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Crypt of San Marciano

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Byzantine Pantalica

King Hyblon’s kingdom: Pantalica, between history and legend

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Roman Syracuse, a military power thanks to the genius of Archimedes

The architecture of the Piazza

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Venationes

Castello Maniace

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Spanish fortification

Temple of Apollo

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The Senatorial Palace

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Pantalica: where nature and history merge

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Euryalus Fortress