Siracusa paradise
photo by David Evers

Syracuse (Siracusa) is a medium sized city in Sicily, Italy with an interesting mixture of ancient and modern. Syracuse is a city on the eastern coast of Sicily and the capital of the province of Syracuse, Italy. It was once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all."

Syracuse is an ancient town on the sea, which was of great importance as Greek Syracuse. It has a well known archaeological zone and a historic centre on the island of Ortygia (Ortigia).

Syracuse is a pleasant town, with plenty to occupy tourists for at least a couple of days. It's also a good area for seeing the south-eastern corner of Sicily, including the Baroque towns of Ragusa and Noto, several archaeological sites, and the lively city of Catania.

Getting there

By bus

Regular buses run to and from Catania, Noto, Modica, Ragusa and Gela as well as more local destinations.

Syracuse is served by orange urban buses run by AST, whose bus station is just across the bridge into Ortygia, at Riva della Posta.

By train

The railway station is 10 minutes walk from the centre of the old town. 2 daily intercity trains from mainland Italy (Rome and Naples) continue on from Messina via Catania to Syracuse. There are also different daliy sleeper trains from mainland Italy (Rome, Milano, Venezia, Turion, Genova and Biologna) to Syracuse (Sircusa). Less frequent local trains continue on to Noto, Modica, Ragusa and Gela. These trains from the mainland connect via a ferry.

Siracusa is also served by direct trains from Rome (a ten-and-a-half-hour journey). There are frequent trains from Catania (a couple of hours away). From Palermo train travel is a bit harder; you will need to change at least once (usually at Messina), and the journey will take 6-7 hours. The railway station is on Via Crispi, a twenty-minute walk from Ortygia.

Detailed information:

Traveling around

Bus no 26 run from downtown past Sanctuary Lacrime and Neopolis.

  • Nolo Point, Gazebo Pz Pncali, tel: +39 348 9506338. Rents out electrical bicycles, scooters, canoes, campers etc.

  • Syracuse is on the train line that runs from Messina, Taormina and Catania along the coast.

The centre of town is easily visitable on foot - the island of Ortygia contains most of the sights, and is compact and pleasant for strolling. The archaeological area is about 25 minutes' walk away from the island.


  • Apollo temple

  • The Old town on Ortygia island. It is the oldest part of Syracuse and quite a charming town. In Ortygia, the Aretus a Fountain is where many poets and writers went to be inspired. The legend says that Alpheus, Son of Oceanus, fell madly in love with the a nymph named Aretusa. The nymph didn't share their feelings. To save her, Artemides turned her into a water source. Zeus also turned Alpheus into a river, allowing him to meet up with Aretusa.

  • The Cathedral.

  • Piazza del Duomo.Piazza Duomo

  • Neapolis - the ancient city, including the Greek Theatre, Quarries, Caves and Roman Amphitheatre. Admission €6 Neapolis Virtual tour

  • Sanctuary Madonna della Lacrime A huge concrete cone church built over a mass-produced madonna statue that cried in 1954.

  • BASILICA OF SANTA LUCIA WITH CARAVAGGIO PAINTING in Piazza Duomo: Basilica of Santa Lucia extra Moenia, a Byzantine church built, according to tradition, in the same place of the martyrdom of the saint in 303 AD. The current appearance is from the 15th-16th centuries. The most ancient parts still preserved include the portal, the three half-circular apses and the first two orders of the belfry. . Under the church there are the Catacombs of St. Lucy.

  • Maniace Castle in Ortigia.

  • Ipogoe in Duomo Square.

  • Greek Theater: Teatro Greco: Built in c. 470 B.C. but since then has gone through reconstruction. Greek drama is now re-enacted there, but in the Italian language.

  • Catacombs of San Giovanni: An underground necropolis dating back to the fourth century.

  • Latomia del Paradiso: The Latomia are ancient stone quarries that were worked on beginning from the sixth century B.C. onwards. Latomia del Paradiso is the best known of quarries. It has two underground galleries. The first is known as "The Ear of Dionysios" because of its acoustics. The legend says that the tyrant, Dionysios, could stand at one end and listen to whispered conversations of those imprisoned therein. The second gallery is called the Cave of Ropes (Grotto dei Cordari) where rope makers practiced their trade.

  • Museo Nuovo Archeologico/Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi: Villa Landolina houses Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi, which is the second most important archeology museum in Sicily.

  • Fonte Arethusa: Spring of Arethusa is a pond surrounded by papyrus reeds and formed by a freshwater spring near the sea. Ancient myth says that the nymph, Arethusa, fled from Greek river-god Alpheios and fell into the sea. She resurfaced in Ortygia in the old town of Syracuse.

  • Necropolis: Burial caves dating back from c. 1270 B.C.

Things to do

Syracuse is an amazing city of culture and history ready to be explored and savored. Activities that can be organized include culture & language classes, Sicilian cooking clases & wine tasting, outdoor excursions (hiking, cycling, climbing, sailing, scuba diving), excursions all over the island, workshops (Sicilian puppet making, ceramics, photography, painting).

There are also many night clubs along the coastline on the Alfeo Promenade. Some have dance floors on the beach so that you can dance under the moonlight.

  • Foro Italica: This is a beautiful promenade, where many come to walk and relax. It is said that the trees make people want to spend the day under them.


  • Quel che trovi, Via E. Giaraca 22, tel: +39 348 9506338. Has some Sicilian house specialties.


Most cheap hotels are located east of the train station. There is a number of Bed and Breakfasts around the post office and east of the Apollo temple.


  • LoL Hostel Siracusa , via F. Crispi 92_94_96 - Tel. +39 0931 465088. The only Hostel in Siracusa, newly renovated, 50 mts from the train and bus station, 8 minutes walking from Ortigia and the Archaeological Park. Cheap 4, 8/10 and 20 beds dorms and private rooms all with bathroom and air conditioned. Open 24 hours, internet wi fi free, no curfew, no lockout, free lockers in rooms, multilingual friendly staff. Dorms from Eur 18 to 25 per person per night. Private double rooms from Eur 30 to 35 per person per night.


  • B&B Sleep in Sicily, via delle vergini 20, tele: +39 3397995936. Near the Aretusa Fountain and Duomo square on Ortigia island. 3 star bed and breakfast with bath ensuite, tv, digital terrestrial, frigobar, air condition. From € 30 to 40 per day per person.

  • Hotel Posta via Trieste 33, tel: +39 0931 21819. Next to the main post office and bus terminal on Ortigia island. Standard hotel rooms with bathroom, AC, TV, minibar, and balcony. €80 with very good breakfast. (€45-100 seasonal)

  • Sorella Luna, Via Francesco Crispi 23, Tel. 0931/21178 - Fax 0931/449671. Simple low budget accommodation with a pleasant atmosphere, family run and central to everything.

  • The B & B Asparano is in a privileged position just 200 metres from the sea. Located halfway between Syracuse and the famous resort of Fonta ...

  • B & B GELONE is in the heart of the city of Syracuse: Course Gelone. This road town is a strategic position: you can r. ..

  • Hotel Archimede Small hotel directly cared for by the owners. Located at the heart of the city is near the railway station. The historic centre (the island of Ortigia)

  • Aretusa Vacanze guesthouse: (Via Arsenale 44, 00 39 0931 492 870) In the heart of Ortygia between Piazza del Duomo and the Aretusa spring. Includes wi-fi connection.


  • NH Venus Sea Garden Resort, Contrada Monte Amara, 0039.0931998946 . NH Venus Sea Garden Resort is situated among the rocks of a splendid bay, where you can lose yourself in the soft harmony with it's sandstone construction. The hotel is extended upon a promontory, in a charming setting filled with gardens rich of beautiful flowers and terraces overlooking the sea, infront of the incomparible extraordinary sight of Etna.

  • ArteMare Siracusa Elegance and style are combined with a warm welcome and friendly atmosphere. Short distance to Ortigia: rooms with private bathroom with shower.

  • L'Approdo delle Sirene Siracusa B&B – Riva Garibaldi, 15 – Cap: 96100, Siracusa - Italy. . Telephone +39 0931 24 857 • Fax +39 0931 483 765. Historical and aristocratic building for this B&B of Syracuse. Large bedrooms (some with balcony) furnished in the Mediterranean style with complimentary breakfast. In the summer months this service is available on the terrace with view ever the sea.

  • Residenza Alla Giudecca Siracusa , Via Alagona, 52, 96100, Siracusa, Italy., 14 dwellings set in a magnificent medieval building in the heart of Siracusa’s Island of Ortigia. Beneath the property is an ancient Hebrew bath used for purification rituals in the Byzantine era.

  • Hotel La Rosa Sul Mare Siracusa – Via Dei Diamanti, 16 – Cap: 96100, Siracusa - Italy. . Telephone +39 0931 714813 • Fax +39 0931 714970. This four star hotel of Siracusa is in front of the sea. An elegant building of the 19th century with a wide selection of bedrooms, a swimming pool and nearby tennis courts. The best of the best for a relaxing holiday in this comfortable four star hotel of this beautiful Sicilian city.

  • Hotel Palazzo Giaracà Syracuse – Via dei Mille, 34 - Cap: 96100, Ortigia (SR), Italy. . Telephone +39 0931 464907 • Fax +39 0931 480419. The Palazzo Giaracà is a unique three star hotel located in the little island of Ortigia, close to the historic centre of Syracuse. The Hotel Palazzo Giaracá, famous for its large and comfortable common areas, also offers a wide selection of bedrooms divided in twin, double, triple and family, plus a few self catering apartments for longer stays.

  • Hotel Principe di Fitalia, Via Traversa Tonnara di Terrauzza, 3, 96100, Ph. +39 0931.485064 (Fax +39 0931.485068, .

  • Quality Hotel Park , +39 0931.412233, +39 0931.412233, Via Filisto, 80

  • Nel meraviglioso paesaggio della Val di Noto, a pochi Km dal centro, sulla s.s. Siracusa-Floridia, sorge l'Aldebaran Family Hotel

  • L'hotel Teocrito si trova nel cuore di Siracusa immerso tra l'atmosfera mistica del Santuario delle Madonna delle Lacrime, culturale del Museo Paolo Orsi , e storica del parco archeologica della neapolis

  • Hotel Posta is in an old building in the historic centre of Syracuse, the mythical Greek island of Ortigia

  • Caol Ishka Hotel,, Via Elorina 154, 96100 Siracusa. Tel +39 0931 69057 Boutique hotel with large gardens swimming pool and fine restaurant .Located on the bank of river Anapo beside Fiume Ciane, a natural reserve, five minutes from the old town of Siracusa/Ortigia.

  • Grand Hotel Villa Politi - Via M. Politi, 2 – Cap: 96100 Syracuse. . Tel 0931/412121- Fax 0931/36061. Elegant four star hotel accommodation with 100 rooms overlooking the city centre of Syracuse and the Mediterranean. Ideal starting point to discover this part of the Sicily and its Greek roots.

  • *Hotel Cavalieri *****, , Charming Design Boutique Hotel in the historical centre, just bordering the evocative and delicious island of Ortygia, within walking distance of the main places of interest. Amenities: Wireless internet access, king-size bed, air condition, concierge, laundry service, airport shuttle service.

  • Hotel del Santuario, Via del Santuario, 1, Tel. (+39) 0931 465656 pbx (Fax (+39) 0931 465565), .Recently rejuvenated 4 star hotel near the archaeological zone.

  • Hotel Des Etrangers et Miramare, Passeggio Adorno 10/12, Phone: +39 0931 319100 (Fax: +39 0931 319000), . 5 Star luxury Hotel overlooking he bay of Siracusa.

  • La Rosa sul Mare , è molto più di un Resort, è una dimora di charme, affacciata nella parte più suggestiva del parco naturalistico e dell’area marina protetta del Plemmirio di Siracusa con le ripe di roccia bianca e le terrazze fiorite digradanti sul mare.

  • Hotel Il Podere Syracuse, Traversa Torre Landolina, 11 ,96100, tel: +39 0931.449390 (fax: +39 0931.723006), .

  • Villa dei Papiri The farm "Villa dei Papiri" is 6 km from Syracuse, closely woven with the history of Syracuse, its most ancient legends

  • '''resort larosadeiventi c/da corridore campana tel 0931 844343

  • Grand Hotel: A four star hotel right on the waterfront of Ortygia. (Via Mazzini 14, 00 39 0931 464 600)

  • Aldebaran Hotel: Via Agamennone, +39 0931 744 844

  • Mediterraneo Hotel: In the center of the City. (Via Tripoli, 40 96100 Syracuse)


The outdoor market in Ortigia is one of the most amazing places. Here you can find the freshest and finest fish, vegetables and fruits available. The experience and color are memorable. Other than food, you can find almost anything you will need for you holiday experience in Syracuse from clothing to extra baggage.

One of the most popular craft products in Syracuse is papyrus paper. Local pottery is also a common product to buy.

If you are looking for the perfect gift, buy a bottle of Nero d'Avola or a jar of their famous fish preserves.


The closest airport is Catania to the north of Syracuse, which offers direct bus service.


  • Festival of Santa Lucia: Takes place on December 13. A solid silver statue of the patron saint is carried to Basilica del Sepolcro where it remains for eight days.

  • Theatrical Season at the Greek Theater: Goes from May to July. Throughout these months, they stage dramas by famous authors such as Aeschylus and Euripides.

Value for Money Eateries

  • Ristorante Pizza Minerra: (00 39 0931 169 404). Prime position in Piazza del Duomo. Has decent pizza and pasta.

  • La Siciliana, Via Savoia: A good, local pizzeria, with a wide range of pizzas and a comfortable, friendly atmosphere. The small interior is lined with old photos of the town


  • Don Camillo: (Via delle Maestranza, 00 39 0931 67 133). Specializes in creative spins on traditional Sicilian dishes. Prices are not too expensive even though they have top notch food.


  • Des Etrangers et Miramare: (Paseggio Adorno 10/12, 00 39 0931 626 71, One of the fanciest luxury hotels. Has a roof garden.

  • Grand Hotel Minareto Deluxe (Grand Hotel Minareto Deluxe), +39 0931 721222, Via del Faro Massolivieri 26/a, Syracuse, Luxury hotel strategically located in Ortigia, the old center of Syracuse, featuring a private access to the beach.

Contact & location

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The photos displayed on this page are the property of one of the following authors:

David Evers, Claude Attard Bezzina, Dario Failla, Neil Weightman, Malega, Leandro Neumann Ciuffo, Rui Ornelas

Some photos courtesy of: . The photos provided by Flickr are under the copyright of their owners.

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

Ryan Holliday, Claus Hansen, Massimo, Niels Elgaard Larsen, David Cross, David and Daniel Cowan, Tatatabot, Inas, Cernst, Travelbubble, Infinitesicily, Episteme, Jonboy and Pz-engl

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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