Ortigia Island

Syracuse City

Ortigia is considered the heart of Syracuse rich of impressive monuments and stunning fore-shortenings. 

Ortigia is the historical centre of Syracuse located on Sicily’s south-eastern coast, where three bridges connect the island to the town. It is considered the heart of the city rich of impressive monuments and stunning fore-shortenings. Also known as the Città Vecchia (old town), its name derives from the ancient Greek ortyx and it means Quail. Walking through this picturesque quarter you can admire the history of Syracuse in every corner of its narrow streets.

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Visiting the Ortigia island you can breath the real essence of this old and fascinating part of Sicily where Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Aragonese, and the Savoy lived their imprints on this land. The Fonte Aretusa is a symbol of this charming island, it is a fresh water spring which goes back to the earliest Greek colonists, surrounded by high stone walls and wild papyrus. From the fountain you can easly reach the Piazza del Duomo, defined as on of the most beautiful square of Italy.

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The Cathedral rises in the middle of the square and it is an impressive testimony of all the many ages of the town. Originally built as the Temple of Athena, the Duomo shows massive Greek Doric columns, elements of the Norman period and a Baroque facade, redesigned after the 1693 earthquake. Inside the church it is possible to admire part of the Greek temple and a room dedicated to Saint Lucy, the patron saint of Siracusa. Moreover the Giudecca is the popolar Jewish quarter of Syracuse, here the architectural style is a mix of Medieval and Renaissance, Sicilian Baroque and Hebrew-Israelite. It is a very suggestive place rich of characteristic buildings, charming narrow streets and Jewish restorations where you can discover their culture and traditions. Ortigia also provides a wide range of popular touristic attractions such as festival and events, rare shops with traditional local food or handmade products and a lively nightlife with its tasty restaurants and its clubs.

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