Syracuse - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Syracuse - UNESCO World Heritage Site

Syracuse was one of the most important cities before the rise of Rome...

Syracuse, among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites from 2005, is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the preeminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes.

For this guided tour we will pick you up from your hotel or b&b with one of our vehicles: with a minimum of 3 people the vehicle is a luxury Mercedes-Benz 4x4 or a comfortable 8-seat minivan! It takes over three hours to arrive to Syracuse as we have to drive through Sicily, though you will enjoy stunning views. One of the most important building of the Greek period is the Greek Theatre, whose cavea is one of the largest ever built by the ancient Greeks: it has 67 rows, divided into nine sections with eight aisles. Only traces of the scene and the orchestra remain. The edifice (still in use today) was modified by the Romans, who adapted it to their different style of spectacles, including also circus games. Near the theatre are the latomìe, stone quarries, also used as prisons in ancient times. The most famous latomìa is the Orecchio di Dionisio (Ear of Dionysius). Of the Christian period is the Cathedral on the beautiful island of Ortigia: built by bishop Zosimo in the 7th century over the great Temple of Athena (5th century BCE), a Doric edifice with six columns on the short sides and fourteen on the long sides: these can still be seen incorporated in the walls of the current church. Very much important is also the Maniace Castle, constructed between 1232 and 1240, an example of the military architecture of Frederick II's reign. It is a square structure with circular towers at each of the four corners; the most striking feature is the pointed portal, decorated with polychrome marbles.

After lunch we visit the Catacombs of San Giovanni, second for importance only to those in Rome; excavated for the most part between 315 and 360 BCE and remained in use until the end of the 5th century. This underground cemetery was built as mass burial ground even for the poorer members of the population. The rock, which was easy to work with, made it possible to create, here and in other Syracusan catacombs, a very particular type of 'serial' burial, called by archaeologists polysome arcosolium. These are very long niches in the walls, as wide as a human body and tall enough to be able to insert a corpse, in which a first body was entombed with a stone slab, after which in the new space thus created a second corpse was entombed and sealed by another slab, and so forth.

Why touring with Palermo Walks? We have been awarded the patronages of the Sicilian Parliament and of the City of Palermo, we provide a 100% satisfaction guarantee, our vehicles are checked every month, you can always talk to one of our managers. Our style is based on storytelling, our unique way of sharing with you the history and stories of people, art, culture, food, traditions. Book your tour now to enjoy the best of Sicily!

 

Schedule:

  • 7:00 Hotel or b&b pick-up by car or minivan
  • 10:45 Syracuse
  • 13:00 Lunch (not included)
  • 14:30 Catacombs of San Giovanni
  • 15:30 Departure from Syracuse towards Palermo
  • 17:30 Hotel or b&b drop-off
  • Booking Box

    Your experience starting from €129,00
    Number of People:
    * Date:

    Customise your Experience

  • Options

    • Internet connection: €10 per person.
    • Customisation: if you prefer a shorter or a longer tour, to add or remove some points of interest, and/or if you require different hours, please contact us.
    • For a guide speaking a language different from English or Italian, please contact us.
    • For luxury services please contact us.
    • For special needs please contact us: convertible car seats for babies and foldable wheelchairs may be rented at €15 each.
    • For a tour leader service (cheaper than the guide service, only general information is provided) or a driver service (the cheapest option, good for those who don't need information about the sites), please contact us.
  • Specifications

    • Frequency: daily (except Christmas Day and New Year's Day).
    • Departure: 7:00 from your hotel or b&b in Palermo's city centre. The time may slightly vary according to the total number of participants, so it will be confirmed via email; if your hotel or b&b is outside Palermo's city centre please contact us.
    • Duration: 12 hours.
    • Number of participants: 1-8, for more people please contact us.
    • Type of tour: open (people from different groups may join in), though limited to 8 people in total; for a private tour please contact us.
    • Location: Syracuse - province of Syracuse.
    • Modality: by car or minivan.
    • Dress code: none; it is recommended to wear comfortable shoes.
    • Contribution: 1 person €249, 2 people €159 per person, 3-8 people €129 per person.
    • What is included: hotel or b&b pick-up and drop-off by car or minivan, guide speaking English and Italian.
    • Entry tickets: not included.