Visiting the city of Syracuse, Sicily and its vicinity

Lipari Islands, ©my_past/Flickr

Lipari Islands, ©my_past/Flickr

The city of Syracuse is located in the southeastern region of Sicily, lying along the coast of the Ionian Sea. The town was founded by the Corinthians on the ruins of a previous Greek settlement in the year of 734 BC. For this reason Syracuse has an ancient Greek past which blends a little bit of history of Europe and the Mediterranean with mythology. Today it stands as a modern city but it is still surrounded by archeological sites, temples, castles and amphitheaters which are visited by many tourists. Visit the island of Ortygia and Thapsos, enjoy a delightful sightseeing tour and go shopping.

Ortygia Island

Ortygia is an old residential quarter of Syracuse with charming medieval streets which once has been the center of Judaic, Greek and Byzantine culture. The remains of these civilizations can be seen even today moreover they make Ortygia a fascinating and special place. Learn more about medieval Judaism, classical mythology and early Christianity by visiting Ortygia. The island is mostly popular for the spring of Arethusa.

Ortygia Island, ©David Holt London/Flickr

Ortygia Island, ©David Holt London/Flickr

Arethusa was a maiden into whom the goddess of hunt, Artemis bumped during a time when she was running from Alpehus, the river god. Artemis transformed Arethusa into a spring of water and thus she managed to escape the river god. Apart from mythology Syracuse also has a factual side. The city was the home of Aeschylus and Arhimedes, the great philosophers and scholars. Also it was the town where even Plato spent a few years.

Thapsos

The town of Thapsos is located near Syracuse and it is the site of an old Mycenaean settlement founded around 15th century BC. Traces of this ancient civilization have also been found at Lipari Islands. There is presumably a close connection between the Mycenaeans and the founders of Syracuse, the Corinthians as they come from the same origin and share the same aspirations.

Lipari Islands, ©my_past/Flickr

Lipari Islands, ©my_past/Flickr

Syracuse – the Golden Age

The city of Syracuse has played an important role in the history of Sicily and Italy from the time it has been founded but it started truly flourishing after the its victory over the Carthagininans in 480 BC. Of course this victory was not achieved alone as the Agrigentans have lent a hand. After winning the fight Syracuse has become economically and politically the most important Greek settlement on the peninsula.

Syracuse, ©girolame/Flickr

Syracuse, ©girolame/Flickr

As time passed the Romans and the Etruscans also had their impact on the city which soon became a cornerstone of western European culture and society. If you are a history enthusiast or simply a person who likes to be merged in the past we strongly recommend you to visit Syracuse, the location and scene of action of Hellenistic Sicilian history.

 

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