The Maniace castle

The Maniace castle is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian time in Syracuse and one of the most famous castles Frederick.
The castle presents a powerful quadrilateral structure of 51 meters on each side of about 12 m of severe aspect height by virtue of its defensive purposes. At the four corners of the building are four cylindrical towers harmoniously inserted in the masonry.
Castel Maniace is available from Piazza Frederick of Swabia .

Crossing the next courtyard stands a stone bridge alleging a door with side columns, the Spanish era (XVI century). The average thickness of the main wall is about 3.5 m. The main facade is oriented towards Ortigia sides to the northeast and to the southwest of the building at the time were on the sea, and so remained until the sixteenth century when the Spaniards erected the two respective buttresses.

Entrance fee: € 4.00 Reduced: € 2.00 (aged between 18 and 25 years old)
Free: under 18 and over 65 years
Ticket office open every day from 8.30 to 12.30.
Info: tel. 0931/4508211 (Superintendent)

The Shrine of Virgin Mary of Tears

The Shrine of Virgin Mary of Tears has been erected in memory of the miraculous lacrimation of plaster effigy representing the Immaculate Heart of Mary, placed at the bedside of Iannuso spouses at their humble home on Via degli Orti in Syracuse, in 1953.

The miracle was repeated from 29 August to 1 September 1953 in the general commotion of an immense multitude of the faithful, in the house of Iannuso spouses. Collections tears were subjected to scientific analysis that would be tear fluid. The devotion that followed was of enormous proportions.

The small image of Our Virgin Mary of Tears was placed inside the Sanctuary. The work was designed in 1957 by French architects Michel and Pierre Parat Andrault following an international competition. Construction began in 1966, because of the extreme modernity of the project from the beginning there were a lot of controversy from the citizens and believes that he considered the work a “concrete monster” who was going to weigh further on a ‘ urban area already heavily compromised, these diatribes it very delayed the realization that ended only in 1994. After about 28 years, the sanctuary was inaugurated November 6, 1994 from Pope Giovanni Paolo II .

The sanctuary consists of the crypt and the upper temple, with a conical body formed by ribs in reinforced concrete that reach a total height of 74 m, surmounted by a steel crowning of 20 meters in height wearing a bronze statue Madonna gilded, the work of Francesco Caldarella, surrounded by a halo with circular elements and radially.

Syracuse Catacombs

The Syracuse Catacombs are underground cemeteries dating from ancient Age, is the first imperial age that the next late empire and considered second in importance and scope only to those of Rome.

The Catacombs of San Giovanni are famous, according to tradition, to have accommodated in the adjacent crypt of San Marziano, the first bishop of Syracuse, the apostle Paul, who would preach the first Western Christians. Martian o Marciano in 39 was sent from St. Peter of Antioch in Syracuse to preach the gospel. They were built between 315 and 360 A.D. later he tampered with to search for the bodies of saints and treasure and is only open to the public and fully explored. They are located in Akradina district.

The Tonnara of Marzamemi

Seaside hamlet, part of which is the town of Pachino, which is about 3 km and a second part of the town of Noto which is 20 km away. It located in the province of Syracuse.

From the port of Marzamemi, in the past, they departed ships carrying large quantities of wine produced locally to the various ports of the peninsula. The wine was also transported by freight trains to various locations ester, having been provided with Marzamemi railway station.

Until December 31, 1985 was also reached by the travelers of the railroad trains from Syracuse and Noto, along the territory of the Nature Reserve Wildlife Oasis Vendicari, reaches Pachino.

A further source of development is the fishing and processing of fish products: famous is, for example, the bottarga of bluefin tuna, processed by hand using ancient drying systems derived from the Arabic-Phoenician culture.

Marzamemi has a beautiful beach: in recent years, has focused on tourism, offering the possibility of numerous landings equipped for pleasure boats. In summer, the population dramatically, thanks to increased housing developments sprung up near the ancient village.

In August Catholics celebrate Francesco di Paola, which they revered as a saint, with a procession of boats, maypole at sea and a regatta.

In 1993 the historic village was used as a location by Gabriele Salvatores for Southern films, starring actors Silvio Orlando, Claudio Bisio and Francesca Neri.

Since 2000 Marzamemi hosts the Border Film Festival.

Oasis of Vendicari


The oriented nature reserve Oasis of Vendicari is located in the province of Syracuse precisely between Noto and Marzamemi.

Particularly important for the presence of marshes that serve as a resting place in the migration of birds.

Expected to be a law of the Region of Sicily in May 1981, it was officially established in 1984, after the then Minister for Agriculture and Forestry Filippo Maria Pandolfi 1450 hectares of land declared “wetland of international importance“, according to the Convention of Ramsar 1971.

It was actually only made accessible in 1989. It is managed by the Regional State Forests.

The volcano Etna

Etna (Mungibeddu or ‘a Muntagna in Sicilian) is a Sicilian volcanic complex originated in the Quaternary and represents the active volcano terrestrial higher than the Eurasian plate. His frequent eruptions throughout history have changed, sometimes profoundly, the landscape, coming several times to threaten the people who over the millennia have settled around it.

On 21 June 2013, the XXXVII session of the UNESCO committee, meeting in Phnom Penh in Cambodia, he entered Mount Etna in the list of assets constituting the World Heritage.

Etna is an active volcano. Unlike the Stromboli that is in constant activity and Vesuvius that alternates periods of quiescence to periods of paroxysmal activity it always appears surmounted by a plume of smoke. A fairly close erupts periods beginning typically with a period of degassing and emission of volcanic sand which is followed by an emission of relatively fluid lava origin. Sometimes there are periods of Strombolian that attract crowds of visitors from all over the world because of their spectacular.


Necropoli di Pantalica

Naturalistic and archaeological destinations in the province of Syracuse. The site name seems to derive from the Arabic Buntarigah, which means caves, for the obvious presence of multiple natural and artificial caves .

It constitutes one of the most important places Sicilian proto , which is useful for understanding the moment of transition from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age in the island.

In 2005 the site was awarded, along with the city of Syracuse, the title of Heritage Site by UNESCO for the high historical, archaeological, caving and landscape.

The resort of Pantalica has given its name to a famous story by Vincenzo Consolo, The Pantalica stones , in which the plateau becomes a metaphor of human life.

The island of Ortigia

Our Bed & amp; Breakfast is located in the heart of Siracusa, which is named The island of Ortigia .

The Ottiggia, in dialect Syracuse, Ortygia, Ὀρτυγία in ancient greek, which means quail is the name of the island which constitutes Part oldest of the Syracuse . Its size does not exceed 1 km².

The island has always been the heart of the city, witness the fact that right from ‘ age of ancient bronze to be inhabited, and also testify remains of circular huts of the XIV century BC referable to the culture of Thapsos.

In Greek times , Ortigia was the political and religious center of the city; as demonstrated by the fact that the island was built the sacred road (which currently falls in the axis urban street Dione and the second section of the Via Roma), or the way which contained important temples of the gods, as the Artemision and the ‘Athenaion (now Cathedral of Syracuse).

During the tyranny of Dionysius I of Syracuse (also called “Dionysius the Elder” and “Dionysius the Great”) on the island was built the Palace of Tyrants with high walls autonomous and the most intimate part of abode of Dionysius, constituted by a small island, was separated from the rest of the building by a canal with a drawbridge, raised or lowered by the same tyrant, to find themselves completely safe. (Cicero, Tusculanae, 5, 59).

This building was later destroyed by Timoleon, the Corinthian commander and one of the few democratic rulers who had the Greek Syracuse. (Plutarch, Timoleon Life, 21). The dwelling of the tyrants was rebuilt in the most sumptuous forms Agatocle (Diodorus XVI 85).

The island took part in many of the city’s defenses, it was also surrounded by the mponenti Dionysian walls that stretched as far as Mount Epipoli, near the Eurialo Castle .

During the siege of the Roman in 212 BC, it became the last of Syracuse Ortigia district falling into the hands of Rome. During the siege, its port was of fundamental importance for the fate of the battles, because it was from there that Carthage, allied with Syracuse, was sending food supplies, so the food and the strength to withstand the siege. In fact, with the help of the Carthaginian ships and the brilliant war machines of Archimedes , the Syracusans resisted to the bitter end to the Roman army that could do nothing but stand outside of aretusee walls. Cicero, the famous Roman philosopher, called to defend the Sicilians citizens from the depredations made by the notorious Roman magistrate Verres, testified that many treasures of the temples and homes were stolen Syracuse.

Syracuse became the seat of the Roman governors of Sicily, they were living in what was once the palace of the tyrant, they became praetorium (headquarters of the Roman magistrates).

In medieval times , Ortigia became increasingly important, given that the population of Syracuse following the major wars (the end of the Roman Empire, the conquest of the Franks and Vandals) decreased to shrink almost entirely up area of ​​Siracusa, depopulating the remaining quartieri.L’isola was further strengthened when the city was named “ Capital Roman Empire ” (also known as the “Capital of ‘Eastern Roman Empire), thus becoming the seat of the Byzantine emperor, Constans II. Later the island faces one of the sieges suffered more, the Arabic 878 AD, which will reduce the population to starvation and force him to surrender after months and months of suffering. the city will be stripped from the title of “Capital of Sicily” and Ortigia will go into Arab hands, becoming part of the Kingdom of Muslim Sicily. the most obvious evidence of medieval and grandiose in or Tigia is definitely the href=”” Castello Maniace initially fortress built by Giorgio Maniace later became a castle at the behest of ‘Norman-Swabian emperor Frederick II, who gave the building the name “Maniace”, in memory of the historic general conqueror of Syracuse in Arabic time.

In the Spanish era , the city changed radically its urban aspect, and therefore also its cultural image, arriving in a way that still shows it. It was in fact the architects took the governors of Castile and Aragon to give the island the baroque facade, with palaces and the Catalan fantasies mix between the Sicilian art and Spanish art, which in modern times have been praise and the pride of the island, giving her the title of ‘ center of the Sicilian baroque “, comparable to the most renowned baroque, on the subject, Noto . Ortigia became the hub of trade with the Spaniards and was also home to the Camera Reginale : a governmental body from Spain but established in the territory, which gave his office a kind of legal title of “State in the state, “it was established by Frederick III of Aragon as gift to his wife, Eleanor of Anjou. Since then, the House passed the queen reigning queen of Castile and Aragon, was finally abolished by Charles V in 1536. The critical issues came as Spain became an empire, and Sicily he made a full part, becoming, in the emperors projects Spanish, to defend the outpost in the wars against the Turks, Austrians and other enemies of the crown. In particular, the Emperor Charles V transformed the island of Ortigia in one of the most fortified strongholds Europe with walls and drawbridges. The island was accessible by only one big door, the Port Ligny , a rich architectural work. The door was torn down, like all the other historic fortifications of the Spanish era, the Unification of Italy.

The ‘ 600,’ 700 and ‘800 were very difficult times for the island of Ortigia, became a military fortress was the Austrian attacks, the defense of the Turkish coast, the various stages of power up reaching the Treaty of Utrecht with which Spain declared ahead of Europe to give up Sicily, passing well in Austrian hands with the ruling house of Habsburg. Then came the Savoy from Piedmont but their monarchy in Sicily lasted very little since neither Spain nor Austria were willing to give up the largest island in the Mediterranean. After several disputes Syracuse, along with Sicily he returned to the Bourbons and was united to the Kingdom of Naples. Then with the advent of Garibaldi’s mission gave the start to the unification of Italy that will be obtained in 1861. The Savoy time will come down in Sicily island by monarchs become Italian.

Ortigia is now the historical, cultural and modano of Syracuse, inspirational destination for many directors who choose . In the streets of Ortigia island it was shot M Alena , 2000 film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore.

In its streets and its palaces were filmed scenes of national television series known as the Inspector Montalbano , written by Andrea Camilleri and starring Luca Zingaretti, but also fiction like The honor and respect , played by Gabriel Garko. Noteworthy are also filming the movie The life of Caravaggio , shot in 2007 and directed by Angelo Longoni; significant occasions since Caravaggio was really in Syracuse in his life, and the city has preserved its famous painting: the Burial of Saint Lucia .

But Ortigia is not just cinema, destination for Italian actors and directors, is also known abroad for its views, its monuments, its flavor and Mediterranean climate. For example you have filmed scenes of their film Sicily , the two filmmakers Straub and Danièle Huillet, or even here there was also Margarethe von Trotta, winner of the Federico Fellini and the Golden Lion at best his film with Years , shot in Syracuse. And the fiction love ballads , directed by Argentine filmmaker Roberto Luis Garay, who repeatedly chose Syracuse for its filming.

The Cathedral of Syracuse and its Square

The cathedral stands on the highest part of the island of Ortigia , incorporating what was the main temple of the sacred Doric polis of Syrakousai, dedicated to Athena (Minerva) and converted into a church with the advent of Christianity.

Considered the most important church in the city of Syracuse, it became part of the goods protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. His style is mostly Baroque and Rococo outside, while inside alternates parts dating back to the Sicilians, as belonging to the greek temple and parts dating back to medieval times, built by the Normans to the six hundred and so left until present days . Its internal structure is composed in different aisles and chapels, which have a classic style and decorated, also typical of the baroque.

Of great religious significance, it holds statues, relics and remains of saints, martyrs and noble Syracusan. Its furnishings have seen a succession of artists from all over Italy and abroad. Always Syracuse symbol of religiosity, the cathedral through the various stages of historical and cultural cities.

Inside there is the precious silver simulacrum of Saint Lucia .