If one had to answer the question: “What is Syracuse famous for?”, the answer would not be short. Really, we are talking about the city on the coast of the Ionian Sea, in the center of the Mediterranean, which lived through an impressive history. Traces of human life found in the territories of Syracuse date back to 6.000 years BC. c.
Art, culture, beauty, and inspiration still today are the motos of the city situated on the south-eastern coast of Sicily, awarded a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This city is also part of the myth, even its symbol is the nymph Arethusa who lived on the island of Ortigia, the oldest part of Syracuse.


Short History of Syrcause.

Syracuse's past goes back to the Neolithic period. Until 733 BC. C. the territories belonged to the Sicilians, who were defeated by the Corinthians and the city of Syrakousai was founded.

The origin of the name seems to derive from the Sicilian terms Syrako or Syraka which translated means "plenty of water". This city shone with its glory and light both in the classical and Roman ages. For centuries it was the capital of Sicily until the Arabs invasion in 878 AD.

Rival of the Carthaginians started in the city was also the beginning of the Punic wars, its position in the Mediterranean and its port were a reason for clashes that arose from commercial as well as political interests.

In Sicily Ancient Greece was synonymous with Syracuse, the city lived through tyranny during the Greek age interrupted by moments of oligarchy. But mostly Athens always tried to subdue Syrakousai as it feared the expansionist power of the Sicilian city.

The most important names of the Greek world were welcomed to the court of the city, among these we remember: Aeschylus, Pindar, Xenophon, Plato, and Archimedes. The latter was born in an Ancient Greece city and left it in 221 BC. during the Roman siege. Archimedes was killed during the assault of the city and all the wealth accumulated over the centuries by Syracusans people was plundered by the Romans. During this hegemony, the name of the city became Syracuse, the capital of Roman Sicily with the foundation of its province.
In Christian times, thanks to the port, the city was a goal for the missionaries who passed through and for the Christians who hid. Therefore, the catacombs built in that period are of considerable importance, second only to the Roman ones. Syracuse was also the capital for 5 years of the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the Western Roman Empire.

After the Roman domination, the Arabs and then the Normans arrived. Under the Nordic rule, the first County of Sicily was born, led by Count Giordano d'Altavilla. During the Spanish domination that was also the Renaissance period Syracuse was called Zaragoza de Sicilia and assumed the name of fortress, being a crucial point between the eastern and western part of the Mediterranean, given that the Spaniards wanted to keep their borders firm. The city was destroyed by the earthquake of 1693 and rebuilt in Baroque style.

Syracuse today

From an economic perspective, this city and its province are a hub that moves all sectors of the economy. Industry, agriculture, and services make Syracuse a center of both interests of large oil and fishing companies and food of high quality with IGP and DOC denominations.

The service sector also linked to tourism, always growing, is the one that benefits most from the presence of tourists. The strategic position of the city, very close to the Fontanarossa airport and well-served by the road and railway network, makes easier the presence of visitors.

Syracuse is amongst the most fascinating Sicilian cities, both for history and for the landscape. Greek history is king and in some cases merges with the "new" Baroque architecture.

Map of Siracuse

Grown up around the island of Ortigia, the city, from its admirable historic center, expands over nearby hills and natural canyons. Nourished by 2 rivers to the southwest, the Anapo and the Ciane, for the rest of the territory, Syracuse is totally open to the sea. On its coasts full of caves and rocks there is the Porto Grande, the scene of historic battles, the Porto Piccolo, and the bay of Santa Panagia.


There are many places where to stay and visit in Syracuse, all of which are full of culture, art, and entertainment. Yet we advise you to choose Marina di Ragusa for your overnight stay. The position of our coastal city, with its fantastic blue flag beaches, offers the opportunity to visit the cities of South-East Sicily by moving easily within the provinces of Agrigento, Enna, Ragusa, Syracuse, and Catania.

Surely there will be many offers of staying in Syracuse however we invite you to Marina di Ragusa where we will be happy to welcome you, with our best options. Bianco e Blu is the reference site for the rental of beautiful rooms in Bed and Breakfasts and holiday houses.

All our accommodations are situated near the center of Marina di Ragusa near supermarkets, restaurants, and a stone's throw from the sea which, with its very fine and clean beach, is the pride of the Province of Ragusa. Check all our offers HERE


Airports of Sicily

There are 4 airports in Sicily, which are the best way to reach it, two are located in Western Sicily and two in Eastern Sicily:

Airports in Eastern Sicily

Airports in Western Sicily


The nearest airport to Syracuse is Catania Fontanarossa Airport and the buses pass right in front of the structure's exit., Also, the buses leave from Catania Center from the square near the railway station with the possibility of buying tickets at the station office or online

The bus companies that connect Syracuse with the other cities of Sicily are AST and INTERBUS. We advise you to look at their websites to check the timetables of the sections concerned.


Compared to other areas of Sicily, Syracuse with Catania are the stations in Eastern Sicily where the service is useful. It is handy to check on the Trenitalia website for train timetables for Syracuse:


A car is always the best option in terms of time, and it also gives you the freedom to visit various places. It is better to book a car online before landing in the airport to avoid long queues at the rental points inside the airport.


The sea around Syracuse makes one with the city, its beaches are of a remarkable beauty that enchants visitors throughout the year. The beaches are made up of light sand, the waters have colors and shades ranging from green to blue, and even more, they are adorned by sets of beautiful cliffs. From the southernmost part going up the coast, we find the beaches of:
Fontane Bianche beach
Locality located about 24 km south of Syracuse, the coastal shore of Fontane Bianche is about 1200 meters long. The beach is free but also served by bathing facilities. The beach consists of fine white sand set between two rocky promontories that create an oasis with always calm waters and shallow waters. Therefore, a perfect place for family vacations.

Lidos in Fontane Bianche

Beach of Ognina
It is a place full of charm situated 15 km south of the city of Aretusea. The marine territory of Ognina impresses with the beauty of its cliffs, blue sea, and seabed which are appreciated by fishermen and snorkeling fans.. near the beach, there is an islet that can be reached by swimming. A perfect place to spend a day at the beach if you love tranquility, there is also a small port where you can find fresh fish every day.
Lidos in Ognina
Spiaggia di Punta Asparano
Almost a kilometer long, this beach, going up the coast towards the city, is full of wild charm. Between sand, rocks, and natural caves you are to discover a place that still preserves the beauty of untouched nature. There are no bathing facilities.

Beach of Arenella
It is Both a public and private beach with attached parking, showers are also present on the free part of it. The beach is made up of very fine sand, and the sea with crystalline waters is always calm, due to the promontories that protect it from the sides. It is advisable to climb the rocks with the appropriate shoes, there are various places where you can dive..

Lidos in Arenella

Beaches nearby the  Parco Marino del Plemmirio – Natural Reserve 
The Plemmirio Marine Park is a territory that covers over 14 km of the coast. There are numerous beaches, many of which are wild and uncontaminated, full of rocks and cliffs, and others with very fine sand and spectacularly colored waters.

You can visit  The park while trekking or by bike, and there are also organized boat trips, diving, and fishing. Each access to the Plemmirio Marine Park has its number and the zones are marked as A, B, C, in each of them are applied specific environmental protection regimes..

Beach of Punta Milocca and Beach of Fanusa - Parco Marino del Plemmirio – Natural Reserve 
There are numerous accesses to the beach within the Plemmirio natural reserve. Each one of them is marked by a number. The flora and the beach contribute to making this part of the unspoiled Sicilian coast unique. Even with the rocks and ravines, Fanusa Beach is also accessible to children, the accesses are the nn. 1-2-3-4. To get there it is recommended to wear trekking shoes and sportswear. At Punta Milocca there is a watchtower built in 1467 which, hit by the earthquake in the Val di Noto, was rebuilt in 1697.

Lidos of Fanusa
Lido Fly Beach Via Cristoforo Colombo 22 tel 338 599 9924
Beach of  Massolivieri - Parco marino del Plemmirio – Natural Reserve
This beach is situated just below the Punta della Mola and makes part of the Plemmirio marine park. Its sand is the color of gold and the characteristic that catches the eye is the white color of the cliffs above it. Over time, from the classical to the modern era, this site has been the site of limestone extraction for the decorations of the temples and also of the churches of Syracuse. The beach is not equipped.

Punta Castelluccio and Minareto Beach - Plemmirio marine park - Natural reserve
From access 35 of zone C of the protected area you can access the Minareto beach considered one of the most beautiful in Eastern Sicily. It must be said that it is not a very large beach and that a part is private. It is a natural cove near the lighthouse of Punta Castelluccio. The sea in this part is clear and with calm waters, as it is protected by the rocks of the natural inlet. There is a spacious parking slot near the beach, but there are no equipped lidos.
Beach of Cala Zaffiro - Parco marino del Plemmirio – Natural Reserve
Another natural cave in the large area of Plemmirio is near access 27. Its name derives from the color of its seabed which recalls the blue of the precious stones. An enchanting place, with small cliffs, promontories, rocks, and a sea right for diving and snorkeling fans. In the depths of Cala Zaffiro you can admire different species from starfish and seahorses to tuna, often a bit away from the seashores you can also see dolphins, whales, and sharks. Also in the depths of the sea there is the statue of the siren dedicated to Rossana Maiorca, a well-known Italian diver. The sea is accessed from the rocks that create natural pools and from which you can dive.

Lido in Cala Zaffiro

Beach of Punta Carrozza
This beach is about 9 km away from Syracuse, and this part of the shore is also served by the city bus n. 23 which stops 10 minutes from the sea. The color of the sea leaves breathless with all its shades of blue, the beach is made up of golden sand and rocks. The depths are typical of the Mediterranean which gradually becomes deeper, therefore also suitable for children. There are no facilities on the beach. 
Beach of Punta del Pero
Situated just right south of the port of Ortigia from which you can enjoy the panorama, it is considered an earthly paradise. Access to the beach is protected from the road thanks to natural caves, the beach is accessible by a driveway and stairs. The waters of Punta del Pero are shallow and the sand is white. Given the position it is not possible to use mechanical cleaning devices therefore those who want to attend must have the utmost respect for the environment and for those who clean it manually. Only a part of the beach is free, but there is a kiosk. Right by the side of the beach, there are many restaurants and free parking.

Beach of Fonte Aretusa Ortigia
It is a very small beach near the port of Ortigia, handy for those who are in town for a few hours and feel like taking a dip. There is also a bar near the beach.

Beach of Cala Rossa Ortigia
The beach is frequented by the locals of Ortigia and by tourists, it is located near the Maniaci castle and is accessible via an iron staircase. The beach is made up of sand and pebbles. There are showers on the beach. 
Beach of Marina di Ortigia
One more tiny beach, often crowded, it is just a few meters away from the Aretusa origin, the proximity to the port does not guarantee clear waters.

The public beach of Syracuse - via Cimone 16
This beach is accessible by stairs and it is for lovers of cliffs and diving. The waters are clear, and the rocks are white and capture the light, thus making it the right place for sunbathers who don't like sand.

Other beaches of particular interest are South of Syracuse, passing by the natural Reserve of Plemirio (mentioned before) :

what to see in Syracuse

Time has left important traces in this city, so UNESCO could not fail to include it among the World Heritage Sites. In all the palaces and architectural masterpieces, the dominant color is white which, bright and ivory, gives a unique charm to the Sicilian ancient capital.
To start, before any palace or church, the island of Ortigia must be visited, and knowing its history can only make its magic even more splendid. The island is joined to Syracuse by a bridge.

Entering the island’s narrow streets full of history, one will remember that the myth tells of the nymph Arethusa who, to escape the god Alpheus, son of the god and titan Oceanus, asked for help from the goddess Artemis who transformed her into a source of water in Syrakousai. Alpheus from his side was desperate and Zeus, moved by this love, transformed him into a river to reunite him with his beloved across the Ionian Sea. According to an anthropological reading, this story serves to underline the link between the Peloponnese where the Alpheus River flows, and Syracuse.
The historical and religious buildings of greatest value are situated in this part of the city which is its beating heart. In the Arethusa fountain, you can also admire the magnificent plants “papyri of Syracuse”.

On the island of Ortigia you can visit:

Duomo of Syracuse
This building is interesting to see because its importance goes beyond the religious value itself. The basement of this church was made on the magnificent temple of Athena. In fact, in addition to the richly decorated Baroque-style façade, inside the Duomo, you can admire the Doric columns of the temple dating back to the 8th century BC. But, from excavations made at the beginning of the last century, it was possible to prove that a temple already stood in that place in the sixth century BC.
In front of this magnificent structure, one can only stand in silent admiration, because time and history speak for it.
Chiesa of Santa Lucia alla Badia
To Complete the beauty of the building dating back to 1703, inside the church, dedicated to the saint patron of Syracuse, it is possible to admire a painting of Caravaggio "The Burial of Saint Lucia".
In the city of Syracuse the historical treasures belong to different traditions and cultures, one of these is the Mikveh. For Jews, it is the place to take a purifying bath before entering the temple. The one in the city of Arethusa is considered the largest and oldest Jewish ritual bath in Europe.
Maniace Castello
It was built on the ruins of a pre-existing fortress and designed by Frederick II of Svevia in the first half of the thirteenth century, the castle was built by Giorgio Maniace whose name Frederick gave to a castle. A beautiful example of the Gothic style, the castle, in the Middle Ages, was a place assigned both to military defense and to welcome social moments of the court of the king of Sicily.
Seat of the municipality of Syracuse
The Baroque building hosting the Syracuse town hall is the Palazzo del Vermexio. The white of its stone combined with the Baroque style makes this building one of the best representations of the seventeenth-century style.
Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco
In Syracuse, the Baroque is also expressed through the Rococo style of the 18th century with this building considered the city’s most beautiful. It is located in the Piazza del Duomo in Ortigia. It is for sure a place to visit and admire both the external architecture and the internal decorations.
Tempio of Apollo
Built in Doric style, it is one of Syracuse’s oldest temples, dating back to the sixth century BC. A place full of charm for the history carved on its centuries-old stones. It is located in Ortigia in Piazza Pancalli near the market. The area is fenced off and visible but free access to the site is not possible.

Other churches and buildings of historical and cultural value:

In Syracuse, outside the island of Ortigia, you can visit:

Chiesa di San Giovanni alle catacombe.
This is a church built in the first centuries A.C. in Norman-Gothic style, it retains a particular charm. It was built on the remains of other Hellenic and Roman structures, although the earthquake that struck Eastern Sicily in 1693 destroyed it in part. Legend tells that under the church there is the crypt containing the sarcophagus of San Marciano proto bishop of Syracuse, the first bishop of the West, and the student of San Paolo. The place is considered a place of worship by both Christians and Orthodox.
Archaeological Park of Neapolis
It is the natural area that includes the archaeological sites of the Syracuse area. These are considered the most important in Sicily and the largest in the Mediterranean. In this vast area of 240,000 m² there are the treasures of the past:

Museums of Syracuse

Among others it is also to visit:

Natural Reserves near Syracuse

Pantalica Natural Reserve
It is situated in the Anapo Valley which is crossed by one of the largest rivers in Sicily. The reserve has a territory of 3,712 hectares. The peculiar characteristics of Pantalica are the canyons and the largest necropolis in the Mediterranean. The rocky walls contain tombs that date back to prehistoric times and were used until the early Christian period.
In 2005 UNESCO recognized the necropolis of Pantalica as a heritage of humanity, therefore to be preserved. The ecosystem of the reserve is various and rich in plant, animal, and mineral species. There are wild orchids, woods of poplars, oaks, and plane trees. Just as there are also varieties of eagles, kingfishers, foxes, etc. The waters of the Anapo River are also full of freshwater fish, including trout. In the reserve it is possible to hike or bike. There are numerous equipped areas along the paths.
Natural Reserve Orientata Oasi faunistica di Vendicari
In the province of Syracuse, there is also the Vendicari Natural Reserve. The Reserve, located in the area between Noto and Pachino, is about 43 km away from the city, a journey that can be covered in less than an hour by car. Entrusted to the Sicilian State Forestry, the Vendicari reserve is a place full of surprises for nature lovers.

Birdwatchers, in addition to the various species of birds such as black storks, herons, mute swans, etc., will also be able to admire the pink flamingos that are at home in Vendicari as well as the Caretta-Caretta sea turtles that nest on its beaches. In the pristine landscape of the Reserve, there are also archaeological remains from the Greek and Byzantine ages, while from the Middle Ages is the Svevian Tower, a fortification dating back to the 14th century that can still be visited, as well as the Tonnara, present since the 1700s.

The beaches in Vendicari are four and all of them have big parking lots:

in this place nature rules, so man must accept the lack of refreshment facilities and set off on an adventure wearing with suitable shoes, sunscreen cream, a hat, and a sandwich.
There is always a bit of walk to do to reach the beaches from the parking lot, but the crystal clear waters where to dive are worth it; during this walking tour you will immerse yourself in the typical scents of the Mediterranean scrub thanks to the plant species present such as wild thyme, myrtle, etc.
There are 3 itineraries to discover Vendicari:
Cavagrande del Cassibile Natural Reserve
This reserve includes three municipalities in the Syracuse area: Noto, Avola and Syracuse. The territory of the reserve extends over about 2,760 hectares and for about 10 km it is bathed by the Cassibile River, one of the largest rivers in Eastern Sicily.

The presence of the river over the centuries has eroded the rocky walls of the Ibleo plateau, which affects the provinces of Syracuse and Ragusa, creating spectacular canyons, up to 250 meters deep in some points. Furthermore, archaeological remains, necropolises, and caves make the Reserve an important testimony to the archaic past of the territory.

The vegetation is typical of the Mediterranean maquis, that frames the lakes of Avola, the undisputed destination for swimming in natural pools set in a canyon which, with its waterfalls, are a must-see in the Cavagrande del Cassibile Nature Reserve.

The protected marine area of Plemmirio
Just 10 km south of the border of Syracuse province is this magnificent from many aspects place. An area to visit with excursions by bike or on foot, organized boat tours, diving, fishing, and bathing. It is a protected area and, being a marine park, it is not possible to do all the activities listed throughout the territory. The Park extends over approximately 14 km and has 35 entrances, each area, marked with letters A, B, and C, has different environmental protection regimes.
In zone A is the peninsula of La Maddalena, with the lighthouse of Capo Murro di Porco situated on its extreme southern tip. This place is worth visiting. The trail is spectacular due to the structure of the territory full of cliffs, yet it must be organized attentively, therefore not recommended for children. The sandy beaches suitable for families are Fanusa Beach and Punta Castelluccio Beach access numbers 34-35.
For information on the areas, the accesses, and the activities allowed in them, consult the website:

The places not to be missed within the protected area of Plemmirio are:

Natural reserve of the Ciane river

This river flows into the large port of Ortigia, its most important feature is the presence of papyri, which are present in only two places in the world: the banks of the Ciane in Syracuse and the banks of the Nile in Egypt.
The Ciane is a continuous river, in some places it has seen the work of man in others it is still in its natural state, along its route it also encounters various swampy areas. There are many possibilities for excursions in this corner of paradise: on foot, by bike, by boat, and canoe.
Other less frequented Natural Reserves:

Other places to visit near Syracuse:
From Syracuse, it is possible to take the highway towards Gela, which stops at Ispica, or it is possible to take the highway up to Messina, passing through Catania and Taormina.

In less than 1 hour from Syracuse:

In less than 2 hours by car


The territory of Syracuse offers many possibilities to have a pleasant evening for people of all ages. In the city, as in the coastal areas, there are places that satisfy all the demands expected from the Nightlife. Lounge bars, disco bars, wine bars, restaurants, trattorias, and pizzerias welcome those who spend their holidays.
In the historic center and on the seafront of Ortigia, you can enjoy an aperitif outdoors even in winter, thanks to the mild climate. Small and large venues obtained from ancient palaces or "dammusi" make the evening in the historic center even more welcoming.
For those who want to spend an evening in the beats of summer music, just move to the clubs on the beach of Arenella or Fontane Bianche which become discos at night. Although we must not forget that we are in a city of art, therefore, you can combine an aperitif with an evening also at the Greek Theater where classical performances are staged throughout the summer. Furthermore, visiting the architectural beauties in the evening increases the charm of the city. The historic center of Ortigia is pedestrian, free shuttle bus services are available.

Sports activities and Excursions

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Silvia, a great passionate, and PSS-certified diving instructor can guide you to discover fantastic seabeds, abandoned wrecks, or dives in the blue. Even if it’s the first time, no worries. In complete safety you can experience the thrill of the underwater world and, who knows…. afterward, you probably would never want to stop…...
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Patronal feasts, festivals, and shows

Santa Lucia
The most important feast of the most known Sicilian saint takes place from the 13th to the 20th of December. For about a century a girl has come from Sweden who takes part in the local procession, Syracuse is twinned with Stockholm where this festival is deeply felt. The first Sunday of May is celebrated Santa Lucia delle Quaglie, in memory of the end of the famine of 1646.
Strawberry Festival
Every year in spring the Cassibile strawberry festival is celebrated at the Syracuse Hippodrome. More than 5000 visitors from all over Sicily arrive to taste food and wine at stands and enjoy horse racing.
Ortigia Film Festival
Since 2009, this event honors the new Italian cinema and promotes film culture through new films, retrospectives, meetings with the protagonists of the world of cinema, and workshops.
Classical performances at the Greek Theater
In summer, evenings at the Greek Theater are an unmissable event for a keen public. The performances usually start at 20:00.
For the program, dates, and tickets check the site:
Local Markets
The Ortigia market is something not to be missed, there you can buy excellent fish as well as other types of products. In the market, there are also spots where you can taste street food. It is open from Monday to Saturday, from 8:00 to 13:00 via Trento 21.


Typical products of the Syracuse area
In Sicily, we eat well everywhere and every place has its own way of cooking Sicilian recipes. One of the examples among the first courses is the pasta with sardines Syracuse-style, made with Pachino cherry tomatoes.

Pasta with green vegetables is also a local interpretation of the use of serpentine courgette leaves in other provinces called tenerumi. The cuisine of Syracuse is full of Fish-based recipes that cannot be missing there. Among the first courses we often find delicacies cooked with tuna combined with citrus fruits, as well as soups and fries, very common are the baby fish balls.

Among the side dishes, the stimpirata stands out, a salad made with vegetables such as carrots and potatoes with the addition of olives, capers, and aromatic herbs. Various kinds of cheese offer you stock up on excellent dairy products such as provole, ricotta, caciocavallo, primo sale, and pecorino. The local wine is Nero d'Avola, the oil is very tasty and the Pachino tomatoes are known all over the world.

The rotisserie and street food products are very tasty, among these, we remember different Sicilian pies such as the scacce, focaccias equal to those of Ragusa, the pastizzetti, the cucche ... Sicilian best dessert tradition is flourishing here: mucatoli, cassateddi and cassate, cannoli, and pasta of almond. Ricotta and almonds are among the most used products in the Sicilian confectionery tradition.


Wine Bar
Street Food
Rosts and fast food
Ice cream shops