The Culture of Pantalica

Pantalica is one of the most important and vast prehistoric areas.
The complex of customs and traditions of the people who lived there gave birth to the “culture of Pantalica”. The incessant explorations carried out on the site between the late 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century made it possible to reconstruct the evolution of the first inhabitants of Syracuse in pre-Hellenic times, through studying funerary architecture and artefacts found, such as weapons, pottery and ornaments.
The civilisation of Pantalica Nord, dating back to a period between 1270 and 1000 BC, developed in a densely populated and rich area in the north. In fact, some findings testify to the presence of refined social classes who were very aware of elegance. Even the dwellings, though primordial, were furnished with care.
There is a strong influence of Mycenaean culture, as can be seen from the funeral rites, the shape of the tombs and the production of bright red pottery. From the East, on the other hand, came the custom of precious rings decorated with spiralshaped motifs or stylised fish figures. For the inhabitants of Pantalica a ring was not merely a whim, but an object to defend themselves from negative energies and forces.
The rings were often engraved with “the superstitious eye”, a powerful apotropaic symbol.
Bronze was one of the materials used, proof of how widely used this metal was at the time, demonstrated by funerary objects such as bronze daggers, razors, knives and fibulae  found during archaeological excavations.

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Cathedral of Syracuse

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

The Venationes

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

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Byzantine Pantalica

The Euryalus Fortress

The Roman Amphitheatre

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The cultural significance of tragedy

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

Temple of Apollo

The Spanish fortification

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

The Gladiator performances

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

Castello Maniace

The architecture of the Piazza

Crypt of San Marciano

Neapolis from past to present

The Senatorial Palace

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The catacombs of San Giovanni

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Jews, a wandering people

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Culture of Pantalica