The Neapolis

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

It is said that the aqueducts in Neàpolis could also be used to fill the Greek theatre or Roman amphitheatre with water. For a very special performance called naumachia, the orchestra was transformed into a real basin of water.
The naumachia was the staging of history’s most important naval battles, such as the Greeks’ victory over the Persians at Salamina, or the siege of the Athenians in the city of Syracuse. The ships taking part in the show were real and could be seriously damaged or even sunk.
The people who performed were slaves, criminals or actors.
The audience followed every step of the battle with great participation and enthusiasm.
The naumachiae would have been impressive and engaging! The spectators, enthused by the actions of the soldiers or the war machines, “cheered” for one of the opponents, just like they do today in football stadiums.

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse

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

Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

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

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

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops


Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

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

A journey to Pantalica

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

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

The Neapolis

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

Nature in Neapolis


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

Pantalica and the earth element

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