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.

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Where seas and civilisations meet

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The functions of Castello Maniace

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The Culture of Pantalica

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The architecture of the Piazza

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Jews, a wandering people

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

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

Temple of Apollo

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Senatorial Palace

Byzantine Pantalica

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Venationes

The Gladiator performances

The Euryalus Fortress

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

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

The Spanish fortification

Castello Maniace

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

Crypt of San Marciano

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

Neapolis from past to present