Ortigia

The architecture of the Piazza

Piazza del Duomo is characterised by a curious “exedra” or “eye” shape. Its design appears complex, but it is not random. Over the centuries, the spatial organisation has responded to newer needs and requirements, to the point of becoming an environment with an unusual shape, a compromise between the orthogonal layout typical of the Greek system and the curvilinear elements dating back to the late medieval transformations.
Architettura Piazza DuomoThe eastern side of the square, adjacent to the cathedral, is dominated by the Senatorial Palace, where the Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Artemis once stood, and the Archbishop’s Palace, whose origins date back to the Suevian imperial era in the mid-13th century.
Along the western side stands the Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, dating back to the 14th century, consistent with late Renaissance architecture. Examples of this are the nearby buildings Francica Nava and Chiaramonte, despite some transformations and changes oriented towards the Baroque style. At the southern end of the square is the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, whose structure, which now opens onto the square, was part of a Cistercian monastery destroyed by the earthquake of 1693. At one time, the church was accessed from the side street, Via Pompeo Picherali.
During the 18th century the square also qualified as a “theatrical” place par excellence of the Baroque city, a preferred space for the feast of the city’s patron saint Lucia (St. Lucia).
In its particular morphology, Piazza del Duomo in Ortygia has also been an “inspiration hotspot” for many directors who have used it as a set for their films, such as “The Red Carnation”, based on the novel of the same name by Elio Vittorini .

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

Temple of Apollo

The Spanish fortification

Neapolis from past to present

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Senatorial Palace

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Culture of Pantalica

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

Byzantine Pantalica

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

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

The functions of Castello Maniace

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The Euryalus Fortress

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Gladiator performances

The catacombs of San Giovanni

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

The Venationes

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The Jews, a wandering people

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Crypt of San Marciano

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The architecture of the Piazza

Castello Maniace

Where seas and civilisations meet