A journey to Pantalica

Pantalica in the Byzantine period

We still do not know what happened to Pantalica after the 8th century BC, when all traces of the prehistoric village disappeared, perhaps due to a war during the foundation of the city of Syracuse.
The site was inhabited again many centuries later, in two periods of history: around the 6th century AD, in the Byzantine period, and in the 9th century AD, during the Islamic raids in Sicily.
At this stage many of the funerary chambers that had been dug into the rock were enlarged and used as dwellings or churches.
New villages were born: the first was located near the Cavetta necropolis and had around seventy houses distributed around the Oratorio del Crocifisso (Crucifix Oratory); a second village was founded in the cliffs below the Anaktoron and its religious centre was the oratory of San Nicolicchio.
Lastly, 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.

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


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

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

Pantalica and the earth element

The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

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

Nature in Neapolis

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops

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

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

A journey to Pantalica

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse

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

The Neapolis

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

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

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


Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion