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

With its “eye” shape, Piazza del Duomo is the most important area of the historic centre today. In fact, it houses two main buildings: the Cathedral and the Senatorial Palace.
Piazza DuomoThe earth element tells us the thousand-year-old history of this square through its buried treasures and thanks to the remaining traces of the ancient civilisations that inhabited it.
At the end of the 20th century, work was carried out to pave the square.
During the excavations interesting discoveries were made: traces of the Greek settlers who had inhabited the island of Ortygia were found just below the modern city.
Among the objects that archaeologists found underground were some fragments of a Greek vase with a very particular shape.
The Greeks called this vessel oinochoe, meaning “wine jug”. This artefact depicted the goddess
Artemis together with some fantastic animals.
L'oinochoeIn the days of the Greeks, the square looked very different.
It was rectangular in shape and characterised by the presence of two monumental temples: the first, in Ionic , style, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis and was in fact called Artemision; while the second, Doric , was dedicated to the goddess Athena and called Athenaion.
Some columns of the temple of Athena are still visible today in the Cathedral of Syracuse.
This church was in fact built many centuries later, on the remains of the ancient Greek temple.Colonne interne Cattedrale colonne greche

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

The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

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

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

A journey to Pantalica

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

Nature in Neapolis

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse

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


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


The Neapolis

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

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

The Cathedral of Syracuse

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

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

Pantalica and the earth element

Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion

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

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops