The city of Syracuse, with ancient origin and as rich in culture as Athens, today is still with all its beauty.
The oldest part of the town is on Ortigia Island where we can find the beautiful square of the Cathedral. The Cathedral of the Nativity of Most Holy Mary is on the list of UNESCO World Heritage properties for its Baroque facade. It was built on an ancient Doric temple dedicated to Athena.
In Syracuse we can admire several Greek and Roman buildings. The Neapolis Archaeological Park includes several elements such as the Roman Amphitheater, which was partially excavated in the rock to exploit the natural slope of the land. The Greek Theater dates back to the fifth century and maintains its original structure which is still usable.Then there’s archaic theater, of which remained some ruins. The whole park is a natural area where you can admire the Ninfeo Cave and the latomie.
The Bellini Theatre, overlooking the square with the same name, was inaugurated in 1890 with the Norma representation. Its façade is a beautiful example of Neo-Baroque style, inside we can admire the ceiling frescoes that represent Bellini’s works. The decorations of the rooms are considered some of the finest of the Italian nineteenth century.
Cattedrale di Sant’Agata
The Cathedral of Catania is dedicated to the patron saint. Its medieval origin is still visible in some parts, such as the walls dating back to the 11th century. But after earthquakes and collapses, the cathedral was rebuilt several times and had several architectural styles. The facade is in Baroque style, made of white marble with three orders of Corinthian columns. Inside there is the chapel of Sant’Agata with the “cammaredda” (bedroom), the room that keeps the relics inside a silver casket.
The Ursino Castle is now home to the Civic Museum of Catania. It was built in the 13th century by the will of Frederick II of Swabia. Its powerful squared structure is still perfectly preserved, with the four circular towers protecting the perimeter. At that time it was considered impregnable, and with years its role passed from a fortress, to the royal seat of the Aragona, to a simple prison.
Today its rooms house the museum with objects from archaeological excavations, mosaics, furnishings, weapons, amphorae, statues and monuments.
The town of Noto, in the district of Syracuse, is called The Pearl of the Baroque. For its architectural beauty is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage properties. In Noto we can admire the Cathedral of San Nicolò and the Church of the Most Holy Crucifix, the Nicolaci of Villadorata Palace, the Royal Gate, and the archaeological area of ancient Noto.
Among the other Sicilian towns in the area, you can visit PIAZZA ARMERINA known for its mosaics and the Palio dei Normanni. CALTAGIRONE with the basilica of San Giuliano, and TAORMINA with its baroque old town centre and the beautiful beaches.