‘The greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all’ – Cicero.
Siracusa has been an important Greek city and the capital of the Byzantine Empire in its 2500 year history. For the visitor it is made up to two distinct areas, Ortigia the tear drop island which is the oldest part of the city, and now mainly baroque in character with Greek elements, and the archeological park which houses the famous Greek theatre, the Ear of Dionysis and the altar of Airone. The modern city is a sprawling late 20th century addition to the landscape, the most notable feature being the conical church of Santa Lucia.
Although on the sea Siracusa has no beach, but there are swimming platforms erected in the summer. The Siracusani go south to Arenella and Fontane Bianche for the beach. Nowadays a city of 180.000 people, Siracusa is a bustling city, but for those who stay in Ortigia, it seems a place apart; little traffic and wandering the lanes under a blinding sun.