fbpx

Ortigia. The beathing, historical heart of Syracuse in Sicily

By Monday, 15 January 2024 14:08

The island of Ortigia is the beating heart and the historical centre of the town of Syracuse (Siracusa in Italian) which is on Sicily’s south-eastern coast. 

Once the most powerful city in the western world

Barely a kilometre square Ortigia, which is linked to Syracuse

by a bridge, is also called the Città Vecchia (old town), its name deriving from the ancient Greek ortyx which means quail. For over a thousand years Siracusa, now a UNESCO World Heritage site was the capital of Sicily, and in the 5th century B.C. it was the most powerful city in the Mediterranean and in the western world.

ortigia 1

Papyrus plants grow in the Fonte Aretusa spring

The Fonte Aretusa, a fresh water spring dating back to the earliest Greek colonists, is a legendary symbol of Siracusa. The fountain and the Ciane and Fiume Freddo rivers near Catania are the only places in Europe where papyrus plants grows.  The fountain has views over the whole city: from the ruins of the Greek fortress of Euryalus to Mount Etna, and from the elegant fortress of Castello Maniace to the southernmost tip of Ortigia.

A 5th-century temple and the Jewish Quarter

A short walk brings you to the Piazza del Duomo square, universally recognized as one of the most beautiful in Italy. The Cathedral stands in the centre of the square, and inside there are columns from the 5th-century B.C. Temple of Athena, and a room dedicated to Santa Lucia, the patron saint of Siracusa.  The Giudecca Jewish quarter has an architectural style that is a mix of Medieval and Renaissance, Sicilian Baroque and Hebrew-Israelite. It has many interesting buildings, charming narrow streets and shops with traditional local foods and handmade products and it can also boast a lively nightlife with its many typical restaurants. 

ortigia 2

Beautiful beaches close to Ortigia

The Plemmirio Marine Park, which is about ten kilometres from Ortygia, is a protected area, and an ideal destination for nature excursions by sea and land. It is also close to the beaches of Arenella, Fontane Bianche, Ognina and Terrauzza. A few kilometres from the city the Fonte Ciane natural spring, which is circular in shape, is linked to the legend of the love story between the beautiful nymph Ciane and the Anapo river. 

For information: www.visitsicily.info/en/localita/siracusa/ 

Image

Latest Video

Villa Castellare de' Sernigi: luxury Chianti villa stays
Video

Villa Castellare de' Sernigi: luxury Chi…

In the heart of Tuscany's lush wine-growing region this sump…

277
Villa Castellare de' Sernigi: luxury Chianti villa stays
Video

Villa Castellare de' Sernigi: luxury Chi…

In the heart of Tuscany's lush wine-growing region this sump…

277

- Our Partners -

- Under the patronage of the Italian Tourist Board -

Image
© 2021 Travel Open Day Srl | All Rights Reserved. - P.IVA IT13119651001