The Neapolis

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Roman Amphitheatre of Syracuse, during the Imperial Age, was one of the most representative examples of Roman architecture in Sicily.
Of this grandiose oval structure, mostly dug into the rock of the Acradina Hill, only the arena (the central part of the structure where performances took place) and a part of the cavea, (the set of brickwork steps where the spectators sat) remain.

Zoom L'anfiteatro romano

The building had two entrances, one facing north, and the other, the main one, facing south in line with a large honorary arch from the Augustan period, of which the base has survived. Past the entrance, a long corridor led into the great arena.
The centre of the amphitheatre consisted of a flat elliptical area covered with sand, called the arena. Around it stood the cavea . These steps were usually divided into sectors, so that spectators of different wealth and social status did not mix.
The steps were originally covered with marble slabs laid to prevent deterioration of the rock. You can still see some engraved with the names of the most illustrious spectators. The pulvinar, a podium reserved for authorities, was located in one of the two far sides of construction’s smaller diameter.
The arena, surrounded and enclosed by a high podium, still preserves an underground chamber covered by a wooden structure that hid the machines used during performances. A well-preserved underground corridor ran around the central space and had eight openings, from which gladiators, fighters and wild beasts were introduced to the audience.
In fact, the amphitheatre housed a multiplicity of performances, from gladiator fights to venationes and the famous naval battles called Naumachiae .

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

Neapolis from past to present

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Senatorial Palace

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

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

The Culture of Pantalica

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

Castello Maniace

Crypt of San Marciano

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Venationes

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Spanish fortification

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Gladiator performances

Byzantine Pantalica

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Euryalus Fortress

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Jews, a wandering people

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Temple of Apollo

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

The architecture of the Piazza

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

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe