A journey to Pantalica

The senses tell Pantalica

Aromatic plants: water mint and lesser calamint

The peaceful ponds of Pantalica are invaded by fragrant water mint, a very aromatic plant. It is the oldest of all the numerous species of mint.
The Romans had already discovered it and would put sprigs of mint in sacks of grain.
The smell of mint would in fact bother mice which otherwise would have eaten the grain intended for food!
Lesser calamint, also known in Italian as mentuccia, helps to strengthen odours in the room.
Menta acquatica

The ‘Nfigghiulata of the town of Sortino

Nfigghiulata is a delicious dish for the whole family!
The main ingredient is lesser calamint, a typical herb from Pantalica.
A pastry sheet filled with various ingredients is rolled up on itself and baked. Once cooked, it’s as soft as focaccia!
The traditional ingredients it is filled with include ricotta or tuma cheese and sausage; or, if you like stronger flavours, lightly seasoned pecorino cheese, salted sardines, salami and wild fennel seeds are used.

Blue Dragonflies

The crystal clear waters of the Pantalica rivers are home to several species of animals. Some of the rarest and most unique are the colourful dragonflies and butterflies like the Lycaena bellargus, named “azzurrine” in Italian for their characteristic cerulean blue colour.

”Touch” history with your hand

A trip to the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica is like a journey through time.
The landscape is dominated by limestone rock in a labyrinth of caves, caverns, ravines and canyons containing more than five thousand tombs.
Even today it is still possible to access the inside of the necropolis and touch the walls of the ancient tombs and Byzantine houses. Upon contact with the smooth, cold stone, you can sense the complex stratification of history.

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

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

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse

The Cathedral of Syracuse


Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

Pantalica and the earth element

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

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

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

A journey to Pantalica

The Neapolis

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

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

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

Nature in Neapolis

Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre


The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

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

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