Syracuse
Educational Activities

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Our most recommended Syracuse Educational Activities

Syracuse: Ortygia Walking Tour

1. 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.

From Taormina: Full-Day Guided Tour of Syracuse

2. From Taormina: Full-Day Guided Tour of Syracuse

For those traveling to Sicily, Syracuse is not to be missed. Once the most important city in Magna Graecia, it defeated the mighty Athens in 413 and was home to many a great Greek, including the inimitable Archimedes. At the height of its economic, political, and military power, the city had a population of 300,000 and, according to Cicero, was "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all.” Join a full-day guided bus tour of this great city, which includes a visit to its archaeological sites as well as the island of Ortygia. First, visit the archaeological site, which is situated in the northwest of the town and is home to a staggering number of well-preserved Greek and Roman remains. The main attraction is undoubtedly the Greek theater, which dates back at least until the 5th Century BC. Its cavea is amongst the largest ever built, its 59 rows could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. Just over the ridge from the theater, you will see the old stone quarries where today there grows a fragrant lemon orchard. Also, visit the famous Ear of Dionysius, a 20m-high, slender pointed arch cut into the rock face about 65m deep. The rock was once used by Dionysius the Tyrant as a prison for his bitterest enemies. After stopping by the Roman amphitheater, continue on to the Archaeological Museum, which contains a great collection of exhibits from all over the Syracuse area. Spend the second half of your day wandering around the beautiful island of Ortygia. It may be a small island, but it's packed with over 2,500 years of history. Architectural styles vary widely, encompassing Greek and Roman remains, Medieval Norman buildings, and a great deal of understated Baroque visible in the main cathedral. In the afternoon, take a break to relax in one of the island's many restaurants, trattorias or bars, as you take in the sights of the lagoon.

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What people are saying about Syracuse

Overall rating

3.9 / 5

based on 15 reviews

Our guide responded perfectly to us, she has a wide knowledge of history and Ortigia island. Visiting the market was also very nice. A beautiful experience.

What a great guide we had..she was very knowledgeable of the history along the way and was able to answer questions we had.

Magnificent city, fabulous archaeological site and all this with a multilingual and immensely cultured guide

Eva was a great guide, very informative and made the tour interesting.

Guide very knowledgeable, flexible in schedule and helpful.