Byzantine Pantalica

The story of Pantalica is a mysterious narrative deeply linked to a highly characteristic landscape, one of history’s greatest natural defence systems.
Traces of the prehistoric settlement disappeared suddenly around the 8th century BC, perhaps due to a war caused by the foundation of Syracuse and a consequent expansion inland.
The site was reoccupied and reused in the period between the Byzantine era and Islamic expansion towards the West.
With their small rocky churches, the villages and the very name Pantalica date back to this period of systematic restoration, for residential purposes, of many of the funerary rooms dug into the rock in the protohistoric period. The first village was located near the Cavetta necropolis and had around seventy houses around the oratorio del Crocifisso (Crucifix oratory), which today has remains of frescoes depicting the crucifixion and St. Nicholas.
The second village was founded in the cliffs below the Anaktoron, in the southern necropolis, and its religious centre was the oratory of San Nicolicchio, decorated with frescoes and inscriptions of which only some fragments of the figures of St. Helen and St. Stephen are visible today.
The largest of these villages was located between the southern necropolis and the pass of Filiporto and consisted of more than 150 houses and a small church dedicated to San Micidiario , where you can still admire a fresco depicting Christ Pantocrator behind the central niche.

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Senatorial Palace

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The architecture of the Piazza

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Culture of Pantalica

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

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The cultural significance of tragedy

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

Byzantine Pantalica

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Roman Amphitheatre

Castello Maniace

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Venationes

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Temple of Apollo

The Gladiator performances

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The functions of Castello Maniace

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Jews, a wandering people

The catacombs of San Giovanni

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

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The Spanish fortification

Neapolis from past to present

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Euryalus Fortress

Crypt of San Marciano