A journey to Pantalica

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

Pantalica is one of the most important prehistoric sites in Sicily. The ensemble of customs and traditions of the people who lived there formed the “culture of Pantalica”.
The first settlement of Pantalica dates back to a period of history between the Bronze Age and the early Iron Age, a time of great transformation and experimentation, a veritable laboratory of ideas and discoveries!
In this prehistoric era, the area’s ancient inhabitants already knew the power of fire: some stones when placed near a source of heat would melt, i.e. turn to liquid. When poured into a mould, this liquid metal would take on its shape and finally return to a solid state when cool. Thus began the working of increasingly more precious and resistant metals to create everyday objects such as vases, ornaments and weapons.
Many of these objects were found during archaeological explorations on the site and testify to the presence of refined inhabitants who were highly attentive to elegance and decorum.
Many pieces of pottery have been found made with a tool called a lathe and characterised by a bright red colour. Typical shapes were large pots to hold water, and bottles with a spout, called “teapots”. Similar to the Greek models, they were large rings often decorated with fish figures. In the tombs there were bronze daggers, razors, knives, fibulae and jewels.

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse

The Neapolis

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

A journey to Pantalica


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

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

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

The Cathedral of Syracuse

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

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops

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

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

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 the water element. The Nymphaeum

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

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

Pantalica and the earth element

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

Nature in Neapolis

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

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River