Ortigia

The Senatorial Palace

The Senatorial Palace, also known as the Palazzo del Vermexio, named after the Spanish architect who built it, is currently the seat of the Town Hall.
Its construction dates back to 1622. In fact, in those years, the Senate of Syracuse decided to build a new palace next to the ecclesiastical buildings, whose seat was to be the city’s main square.
The project was entrusted to the architect Giovanni Vermexio, who at that point had designed almost all the buildings in the city of Syracuse.
Palazzo VermexioThe palace features a fascinating mixture of styles that combines Renaissance elements and hints of Baroque.
In fact, the palace was originally a perfect cube, split in half by a long balcony that separated the two levels stylistically.
The lower part, very linear and in Renaissance style, enriched by pilasters, half columns against the walls and decorated with bossage , contrasts with an upper level that is more lavish and richly decorated, which begins with a balcony in Baroque style. Finally, the façade houses the sculpture of the twoheaded imperial eagle, with two counterposed heads separated by the neck. In the left corner of the cornice of the palace, the architect Vermexio sculpted a tiny lizard that represents his signature.
In the basement there are the remains of an Ionic temple, belonging to the ancient sacred area of the Arthemision .

Temple of Apollo

The functions of Castello Maniace

The Roman Amphitheatre

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

The architecture of the Piazza

Neapolis from past to present

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

The Jews, a wandering people

Castello Maniace

The Venationes

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

Byzantine Pantalica

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

The Euryalus Fortress

Crypt of San Marciano

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Gladiator performances

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

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

The Culture of Pantalica

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Spanish fortification

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port

The Senatorial Palace

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse