The timeless city of Syracuse stands proudly on the coast of Sicily with its Ancient Greek ruins, alfresco cafes, cobblestoned laneways and vibrant citrus orchards. Founded in 734 BC, Syracuse boasts a treasure trove of archaeological wonders, along with a range of fascinating museums dotted around its central island.
Things to do in Siracusa
Begin your Syracuse holiday by exploring the city centre, located on a small historic island called Ortygia. It’s here you’ll find many of the city’s museums, such as Museo Nazionale Di Palazzo Bellomo, which showcases Sicilian paintings and sculptures, and the Museo del Cinema, which celebrates film with memorabilia, camera accessories and movie posters.
You’ll also find an impressive collection of historic architecture around the 14th-century Palazzo Montalto, including the Sicilian Baroque-style Cathedral of Syracuse, which houses a number of religious relics. Walk to the southern tip of Ortygia to visit the 13th-century Castello Maniace, where you can wander through the fortifications and soak up panoramic Mediterranean Sea views.
Want to experience Syracuse’s Ancient Greek sites? Venture over to the mainland, where you’ll find a cluster of ruins ranging from the Greek Theatre of Syracuse to the Altar of Hieron. Be sure to visit the limestone cave at the Ear of Dionysius and the Catacomba di San Giovanni, where you can tour underground cemeteries dating back to ancient times.
If you’re craving waterfront dining, head to Porta Marina, where historic buildings house fine-dining restaurants, bars and boutiques. It’s not far from the Fountain of Arethusa, which has inspired mythical stories and is one of the only places to see papyrus plants.
Getting around Siracusa
Once you’re in the city centre, it’s an easy to walk from one attraction to the next, or you can make use of Syracuse’s bike share program. Electric minibuses also provide transport throughout the city centre and to outer-lying areas.