Add dates
Syracuse

Culture & History

Our most recommended Syracuse Culture & History

Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

1. Siracusa: Ortigia Boat Tour with Marine Grotto

Embark on a boat tour of Ortigia with this tour from Siracusa. View the historic center of Siracusa from the water. Travel along the coast to admire Maniace castle and several sea caves. Push off from Siracusa and pass under the Umbertino bridge. Take in sweeping views of the entire port. Go by the luxurious yachts at Foro Italico, and catch a glimpse of a cathedral dome. Observe the legendary Arethusa fountain. Exit the port and see the immense Maniace castle. Head out to the northern coast of Syracuse. Have some fresh fruit and juice as you travel to a spot where you can get out and have a 10 minute swim. Enter Capuchin cave, Coral cave, a stalactite cave, and the heart-shaped Cave of Love. Snap souvenir photos with the heart behind you.

Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

2. Syracuse: Boat Trip to Ortigia Island with Caves

We will start from the bridges of Ortigia we will enter the "big port" of Syracuse and the beautiful alfeo promenade of Ortigia. Then we will go outside the port to circumnavigate the island and admire the monuments located along the coast. Follow along the coast north of Syracuse to go and see the beautiful sea caves. Then we will return from the "small port" to navigate inside the Ortigia canal that divides the island from the city and we will pass under the bridges to return to the starting point. The visit is guided and there is a historical and geographical explanation. It is also possible to stop for a swim.

Syracuse: Greek Theater and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

3. Syracuse: Greek Theater and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Visit one of the largest Greek theaters in the Mediterranean, the Ear of Dionysus, the Latomie, and the Cordari Cave with a guide. Step back in time as you learn about the history and myths of the Neapolis Archaeological Park. If you choose a tour in Italian, attend the show Il mito di Aretusa. After reaching the entrance of the Neapolis in Syracuse, you will meet our guide waiting for you. You will carry out a short briefing, where the origins of this city will be explained to you and then enter inside the archaeological park of Neapolis. Here it will be possible to visit the Latomie, the ancient stone quarries from which the material for the construction of the city has been extracted for centuries. Formerly places of heavy work and imprisonment, today the Latomie have changed their faces by covering themselves with greenery.  Visiting the latomie you will meet the legendary Ear of Dionysius, known for its typical shape and for its particular acoustics. You will be told the story of the tyrant Dionysius and the legend of this cave. You will continue with the view of the Grotta dei Cordari and then reach the Greek Theater. From the upper terrace you can admire the suggestive Fountain of the Nymphaeum and the wonderful panorama overlooking the large port. After leaving the theater, you will move to the Altar of Hieron II, the largest stone altar built in the Greek world. The last monument you will visit in Neapolis is the Roman Amphitheater. At this monument the guide will show you the Roman phase of the city, the characteristics of the building and the particularities of the gladiatorial games. If you have chosen the option with the theatrical show, stick around after your tour to watch Il mito di Aretusa.

Siracuse: Guided Velobike Tour

4. Siracuse: Guided Velobike Tour

After being collected from your Siracusa accommodation, your Velo Bike tour around the city will begin. You will be taken to various parts of the city, and as well as the island of Ortigia. Siracusa has a unique ecological system, both inside and outside the city. Aboard your electric bicycle, your driver will introduce you to inside the city's magnificent labyrinth, providing you with the opportunity to find and to photograph the history left by different populations at each stop. The tour also includes explanation of historical places, as well as views of impressive panoramas. At the conclusion of your experience, you have the option to be dropped off at any location of your choosing within the city.

Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

5. Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

Embark on a walking tour crossing the picturesque streets of the old part of Syracuse and discovering the traces left by all the different people who governed Sicily. You will meet your guide at the ancient Greek Apollo Temple where you will be given a short introduction to the history of the town. After a short walk, you will reach Cathedral Square and be surprised by the magnificent bright limestone buildings: the town hall, Palazzo Beneventano, the bishop's palace, and St. Lucy's Church, but most of all the Cathedral itself. It is the only church still in use today which many years ago was a pagan temple, and you should not miss the opportunity to visit its interiors (optional visit, admission fee not included). The tour then continues to Aretusa Fountain near the sea. The myth of Aretusa was told by Ovidius and in its clear fresh water grows papyrus which was probably brought here when Archimedes lived in town. The way back leads through the Jewish Quarter to Via Maestranza, the street where the nobility of the town had their pompous homes. On Archimedes Square, the neoclassical Fountain of Diana remembers once more the glorious past of Syracuse. The tour will end at the local fish and fruit market where you can take a breath of local life, colors, and scents.

Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Tour

6. Syracuse: Neapolis Archaeological Park Tour

Meet your certified guide at the entrance gate of the Neapolis Archaeological Park and visit the most important ancient Greek and Roman monuments in Syracuse. Discover the history and archaeological importance of this ancient Greek sight from your knowledgeable guide. During your walking tour, see the ancient Greek theatre, cut in the rock of the Yemenite Hill, and explore the "Latomie del Paradiso", an ancient stone quarry with beautiful local flora. Next, marvel at the legendary "Ear of Dionysius", located inside the quarries. Be amazed by this grotto famed for its shape and echoing sounds. Finish your tour with a visit to the altar of Hieron and the Roman amphitheater.

Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

7. Syracuse, Ortygia and Noto Full-Day Tour from Catania

Learn the ancient history of Sicily on a full-day sightseeing tour that takes in the archaeological park of Neapolis, home to the majority of classical monuments of Greek and Roman Syracuse. Following a pick-up from your accommodation in Catania, transfer to the ruins of Syracuse, now listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. During your walk you will discover many old Roman streets, as well as monuments such as the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks. Near the Greek Theatre, you will see the latomie, including the limestone cave known as the “Ear of Dyonisius,” as well as the Christian Church of San Nicolò ai Cordari. Admire the Amphitheatre of the Roman imperial age, and more. Then, continue to Ortygia Island to experience the historic heart of Syracuse. Located at the park’s eastern end, and separated by a narrow channel, Ortygia is filled with Greek temples, Christian churches, and Arabian streets. Visit the Arethusa fountain and Piazza del Duomo, where the baroque palaces, such as Beneventano del Bosco Palace and Senate Palace are among the most beautiful in Sicily. After lunch (own expense), go to the small town of Noto, noted for its unique style of Sicilian Baroque architecture, and declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002. Wander the open air museum and beautiful Corso Vittorio Emanuele to admire the many palaces and churches that, grouped together, are known as the “Stone Garden.”

From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

8. From Catania: Syracuse, Ortygia, and Noto Tour

Enjoy three beautiful places in Sicily with this full-day tour from Catania. Listen to historical facts and facinating anecdotes with your audio guide as you stop at the Neapolis Archaeological Park, Ortygia, and Noto.  Meet your driver in Duomo square in the center of Catania and sit back and relax in the comfortable van on the drive to the Neapolis Archaeological Park in Syracuse. Purchase tickets to the park to admire the magnificent Greek theater, Roman Amphitheater, and stone quarries. Continue to the ancient fortified island of Ortygia. Spend some time wandering the streets to discover the mythical Fountain of Arethusa, Piazza Duomo, the fortress walls, and stunning Baroque churches and palaces. Finally, drive to the town of Noto where you can discover the Sicilian capital of Baroque architecture. Have some free time to see sights like the Fountain of Hercules, and noble palaces like Palazzo Astuto and Palazzo Trigona Cannicarao. Return to the meeting point in Catania.

Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

9. Syracuse: Ortigia and Neapolis Guided Walking Tour

Explore ancient Syracuse on a 3-hour guided tour and learn about early Greek history through architecture and religious practices. The evidence of Syracuse as capital of the Mediterranean is ever-present, and seen in the glory of its Cathedral, the ancient Temple of Athena, the Greek Theater and the Roman Amphitheater. Admire the beauty of the Cathedral of Syracuse, which incorporates the pagan Temple of Athena. Learn about its various architectural styles from your guide. Continue to the Archeological Park to see the Paradise Latomia and the Ear of Dionysos. Enjoy the beautiful views of the Ionian Sea from the Greek Theater.

Syracuse: Ortigia Island Guided Walking Tour

10. Syracuse: Ortigia Island Guided Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Syracuse on this guided walking tour of the island of Ortigia. Uncover how major Mediterranean civilizations have left their mark in this unique area as you pass by elegant buildings, sculptures, fountains, and grand squares. Meet your guide near the Ponte Umbertino, the stone bridge that connects Syracuse to the island of Ortigia. Follow your guide as they effortlessly navigate through a maze of narrow streets until you reach the 6th century ruins of the Apollo Temple. Contime to Piazza Archimede to admire a classical fountain that depicts the mythical goddess Diana. Pass through charming shops and alley restaurants as you make your way through downtown Ortigia. Finally reach the Piazza Duomo which opens out into a wide space that is surrounded by breathtaking Baroque architecture. End your walk here, were you can take some time to admire the Cathedral of Syracuse which was built atop a Temple to Athena. 

Frequently asked questions about Syracuse Culture & History

What are other things to do than Culture & History that are worth visiting in Syracuse?

The other unmissable things to do in Syracuse are:

Other Sightseeing Options in Syracuse

Want to discover all there is to do in Syracuse? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Syracuse

Overall rating

4.7 / 5

based on 235 reviews

This was one of our favorite experiences during our time in Ortigia - we went on the earliest outing times possible (9:30am) which helped stave off the heat and the more crowded outings. The captain took us to a couple spots we could swim off the boat, showed us some really cool caves and told us highlights about the various buildings and structures along the coastline and city's edge. It was very cool to see Ortigia and Siracusa from the boat - totally different perspective. The water was amazingly clear and a great temperature, and we also enjoyed fresh fruit and some Prosecco. Would recommend this in a heartbeat!

Nice variety, beautiful views, a nice tour around Ortygia, nice swim, delicious with fruit and prosecco in abundance Steven was a good guide and gave us a nice afternoon The boat was certainly not too full and was covered

It was a great experience. We had a good time, we had a good time also because there were only 8 of us on the boat. The guide, Gaetano, was super nice and efficient. Experience to try absolutely.

Awesome trip! Everything was as described, superb view, drinks and fruits on board. A guide at the top!

Super nice tour, very friendly agency staff. He recommended the tour to a thousand.