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Syracuse of history and myth


The magnificent Island of Ortigia is an essential stop for tourists visiting Syracuse: it is an exemplar of this city's joie de vivre, characterized by the unique interplay of its history and position on the sea. Visitors to Syracuse will be happily overwhelmed by its innumerable monuments testifying to the many diverse civilizations that passed through this land. At the entrance to Porto Grande we find the dominating Maniace Castle, wanted by Frederick II as a way to demonstrate to Sicily his power and strength. Meanwhile, in Ortygia's hear lies one of the city's most important monuments: the Cathedral. Born as a Doric Temple to celebrate the Syracusan victory over the Carthaginians in 480 B.C., it was later converted into a Christian Church, in the 6th Century A.D. Close observation of the Cathedral allows for the admiration of the traces left behind by each historical epoch: from the columns of the original temple, to the Norman battlements and the Baroque facade that, in its limestone construction, takes on rather particular golden tones at sunset. A stay in Syracuse should without a doubt include a visit to its famous Greek amphitheatre, which from 1914 began a brand new life by once again putting on the plays and performances that made it legend.