Ortigia

The senses tell of the Temple of Apollo

touch
The “giuggiulena”: a building material

“Giuggiulena” is a dialectal term used by Sicilians to refer to the white stone of Syracuse: a sedimentary rock typical of the quarries of the Hyblaean Mountains.
This type of stone was formed in the Miocene (a geological era that began around 20 million years ago).
Its colour is defined by several shades ranging from white to yellow. It can be beige, ochre or yellowish.

taste
The “giuggiulena”, a typical Syracusan dessert

Giuggiulena is not just a typical building material. The word also indicates a delicious dessert from Syracuse: a crunchy nougat made with honey, sugar, an almond filling and sesame seeds, shaped like a diamond or a rectangle.
La giuggiulena

sight
When the temples were colourful

In ancient times, Greek temples did not only feature the pale marble and rough terracotta surface that we see today, a result of abrasion over the millennia.
ricostruzione Tempio di ApolloThey were actually decorated with bright colours obtained using cinnabar, ochre or mercury sulphide, and many other pigments already known and used by the Greeks.
The decorations of the sacred buildings were lively and complex, featuring braided, petal and meander motifs.
A meander, for example, also known as a meandros, is a decorative border constructed from a continuous line folded to form a repeated motif.
The name meander recalls the winding Büyük Menderes River in Turkey.

Piazza del Duomo, a sacred place of the ancient Greeks

Inside the Cathedral of Ortygia

The Culture of Pantalica

The Greek Theatre of Syracuse

The Altar of Hieron II: Blood and fire place

Temple of Apollo

Castello Maniace

Traces of Christianity in Syracuse

The functions of Castello Maniace

The catacombs of San Giovanni

The Museion and the Grotta del Ninfeo

The Spanish fortification

Where seas and civilisations meet

The Church of St. Lucia to the Abbey

Pantalica: where nature and history merge

The Senatorial Palace

Neapolis from past to present

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

The Euryalus Fortress

Giudecca, the hidden Jewish heart of Syracuse

The Jews, a wandering people

The Gladiator performances

The Roman Amphitheatre

The Athenaion of the tyrant Gelon

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

The cultural significance of tragedy

The Ear of Dionysius and the Grotta dei Cordari

Crypt of San Marciano

The Dionysian Walls: a masterpiece of Greek engineering

Legends and magic echoes in the Latomie of Syracuse

The architecture of the Piazza

The Cathedral of Syracuse

Byzantine Pantalica

Syracuse during the tyranny of Dionysius

The Church of San Giovanni alle Catacombe

The Venationes

Ortygia. Venus rising from the waters of the port