A journey to Pantalica

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

The site of Pantalica stands on a plateau surrounded by large canyons.
The rock faces have been carved out over the millennia by two rivers: the Anapo and the Calcinara. The water element is therefore essential to this place, because its flow over the centuries has determined the very shape of this area.
The Anapo river begins in the territory of Buccheri. Along its route it crosses the gorges of Pantalica, descends through the plain of Syracuse and pours into the waters of the city’s Porto Grande.
Fiume AnapoIts name means “invisible” in ancient Greek. In fact, in many places along its course this river hides underground and disappears from view.
It is associated with the Greek myth of Anapos.
According to the myth, Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, was collecting flowers on the shores of Lake Pergusa. Suddenly, Hades arrived, who was in love with the young girl and kidnapped her. Persephone was accompanied by a group of nymphs, including Cyane, who clung to Hades’ chariot with all her might to prevent Persephone’s abduction. The angry god punished her and turned her into a spring with turquoise waters. In fact, cyanos in Greek means “turquoise”.

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

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

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Pantalica and the earth element

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

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

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

A journey to Pantalica

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

Nature in Neapolis

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops

Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion

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

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

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

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse


Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

The Neapolis


The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

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