The Neapolis

The senses tell the Neapolis

hearing
The acoustics of the Greek theater

One of the unique aspects of the Greek theatre is its exceptional acoustics. In ancient times actors did not use microphones to amplify their voices, but the spectators on the highest steps were able to hear the performances.
The secret to the acoustics in Greek theatres is connected to their semicircular shape, which helps to “hold” sound.
Acustica Teatro Greco

smell
The maritime pine

Immersed in nature, the Greek Theatre of Syracuse welcomes visitors among the fragrances and scents of the plants and trees that dot the park.
One of the smells of the land is the Mediterranean pine.
This tree, also called the maritime pine, is very common in Sicily and can be distinguished from the tree that produces pine nuts by the pungent smell of its needles.
Ramo Pino Marittimo

sight
The panoramic view from the cavea of the Greek theater

The ancient Greeks carefully chose where to build the theatres.
From the theatre you could always see a beautiful panorama.
The theatre of Syracuse offered a view onto the port and the island of Ortygia.
Today, from the steps of the ancient cavea, the view over the Mediterranean Sea is now obscured by an expanse of trees and small shrubs which filter clear and greenish sunlight during the day, and red and warm light at sunset.

taste
The gladiators’ diet

The gladiators lived in training schools,  familiae, run by an owner who fed them and prepared them for fighting.
In the familiae, gladiators had to follow a special diet to improve their physical strength.
This diet included many legumes, grains, onions, garlic, fennel seeds, fruit and dried figs, and was poor in meat. The diet also included dairy products, oil, honey and wine.
The night before fighting, the gladiators attended a rich banquet to build their strength.
On this occasion, they ate barley flat breads sprinkled with honey and drank fenugreek infusions with strengthening properties.

Pantalica and the earth element

The fountain of Diana in Piazza Archimede

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

Nature in Neapolis

Giudecca

Neapolis and the air element. The Ear of Dionysius

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

A journey to Pantalica

Ortygia and water. The Fountain of Arethusa

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

Pantalica and water: the Myth of the Anapo River

Giudecca and the earth element. Between gardens and artisan workshops

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

Giudecca and air. The Basilica of San Giovannello

Ortygia

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

Giudecca and fire. Cooking and the Jewish religion

The interior of the Cathedral of Syracuse

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

Neapolis and the water element. The Nymphaeum

The Cathedral of Syracuse

The Neapolis

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

The naumachiae: naval battles at the theatre

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