A day excursion to the best-preserved Greek archeological treasures is a must for any visitor to Sicily. Discover this historic city at your own pace, with the services of a licensed guide and a private drive.
In Siracusa, you will meet a local expert tourist guide who will lead you first to the world-famous Neapolis Archaeological Park and to the pedestrian area of the ancient town in the isle of Ortigia. Over here, you can enjoy some of the ancient sights, such as the Cathedral, the Arethusa Fountain and elegant Baroque style palaces. You can take a break sat at one of the many bars situated on the charming Cathedral Square for a tasting of delicious Sicilian sweets made from honey and Avola's almonds - the Italian's most valued almonds by far - matched with the local Moscato di Siracusa wine. In the afternoon, you will have free time to explore further the pedestrian center of this old compact town with its many bars, restaurants and shops.
Along the southbound journey, an interesting aspect of the surrounding countryside is the fact that the continental plates of Africa and Europe meet here, allowing you to stand between the two continents. Syracuse, as it is known in English, was built on an ancient Greek settlement founded by Corinthians in 734 BC. It was the most important city in Magna Graecia, and for a time competed with Athens as the most important city of the Greek world. It expresses all the variety and cultural complexity of Sicily, from its origins to our times.
The visit at the Neapolis Archaeological Park includes the Greek Theatre (5th century BC), where nowadays the ancient Greek tragedies go in scene; the Roman Amphitheatre, where combats among gladiators were held; the Latomie of the Stone Paradise, ancient hollows which provided the stone for many of the Greek monuments, like the famous is the Orecchio of Dionisio (Ear of Dionysius). According to the legend, the then tyrant Dionysius could hear the whispers of the prisoners that were held in its depths. In reality, it has such an unbelievable acoustic power that the sound produced inside is amplified up to sixteen times.
Some of the ancient sights to see in Syracuse are located in the isle of Ortigia. The two most important are the Cathedral (a Doric Temple built on an ancient Sicilian settlement), a Byzantine basilica, a Norman church with late Renaissance and Baroque elements, and the Arethusa Fountain, a place linked to Greek mythology. After this pleasant walking tour with your guide, it is definitely time for lunch. If you want to enjoy an excellent meal, your driver will show you a typical Sicilian restaurant located in this ancient town that specializes in pasta and local fish dishes matched with the best of Sicilian wines.
In the afternoon, you will have free time to explore further the isle of Ortigia. You can stroll around these places full of history, along the typical narrow streets often adorned by splendid balconies, visit the numerous quaint shops and boutiques, or sit an one of the many bars for tasting a delicious Sicilian gelato or some typical Sicilian sweets.
- Private hotel pick-ups in Catania area
- Car driven by a driver-qualified tour leader
- Half day service by licensed tourist guide in Siracusa
- Entrance fee at Neapolis Archaeological Park.
- Meals and drinks
- Personal expenses
- Tips and gratuities
- Optional activity costs
- Italian, English, French, Spanish
- Customized routes and pickups everywhere in Sicily can be arranged on request.
- The duration indicated does not include the transfer time to Syracuse (approximately 2 hours round trip).