What to see in Syracuse in one day

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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Syracuse was one of the most important centers in the western world. Although it has partly lost its former glory, the city retains a unique charm and archaeological sites of extreme importance. Between art and history, between sea and flowered balconies, Syracuse will amaze you with its sometimes decadent charm.
Here's what to see in syracuse in one day!


  1. One day itinerary in Syracuse: Morning
  2. One day itinerary in Syracuse: Afternoon
  3. One day itinerary in Syracuse: Evening
  4. User questions and comments

One day itinerary in Syracuse: Morning

1 - Neapolis Archaeological Park

The first stage cannot fail to be the Archaeological Park (9: 00-18: 00, € 10,00). The advice is to arrive at opening hours to avoid the queues at the entrance, since the visit of the site will take you at least two hours. The best way to visit the park is accompanied by an expert guide who will make you aware of its historical importance.

You can admire the Greek theatre, one of the best preserved classical period theaters still used in summer for some shows.
La Latomia of Paradise with the artificial cave The Ear of Dionysus which was used by the tyrant Dionysus to imprison his political opponents. The name derives from the fact that the artificial cave has the particularity of amplifying the voices up to 16 times, allowing the tyrant to listen to the speeches of his enemies.
Very interesting is also theRoman amphitheater, dating back to the III century and of monumental dimensions, as well as the chained tree of Prometheus and the tomb of Archimedes.

2 - The Catacombs of San Giovanni, Ortigia

The catacombs (Tue-Sun 9: 30-12: 30/14: 30-17: 30, € 8,00) are an underground labyrinth, where, by joining a guided tour of about 45 minutes, you will be able to see the niches carved into the rock by the Christians of the Roman era, as well as the tomb of the first bishop of the city, San Marciano.
After the visit, walk towards Ortigia, the islet connected by a bridge, the true historical and beating heart of the city. Pass the city market to reach the Borderi Dairy, where you can enjoy a delicious and huge sandwich. Usually, there is a rather long waiting time, but the goodness and low cost of the products will pay off the time used. The price of sandwiches varies, but usually you can have lunch without spending more than € 15,00 per person.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 5 km / 1 h 2 min
  • Places visited: Neapolis Archaeological Park (€ 10,00); Catacombs of San Giovanni (€ 8,00)
  • Private tour of the Neapolis Archaeological Park

One day itinerary in Syracuse: Afternoon

1 - Temple of Apollo, Piazza Duomo

Once refreshed, dedicate yourself to visiting this beautiful islet. To optimize time we recommend a guided walking tour to see the must-sees of Ortigia together with a local guide.
Reach the Temple of Apollo (free, always open) to admire the remains of the oldest Doric temple in Sicily.
Take a 7-minute walk to the piazza del Duomo, a riot of baroque.
Start by visiting the Cathedral of the Nativity of Maria Santissima (8: 00-19: 00, € 2,00), which has the particularity of contrasting the Baroque façade with a simpler interior, in which the Doric columns set in the structure are enhanced. Near the cathedral, admire the Vermexio Palace which houses the Town Hall, look for the gecko carved in the cornice, the architect's creative signature.
Also in Piazza Duomo, you can visit the church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, patron saint of Syracuse, which contains the Burial of Saint Lucia di Caravaggio.
Finally, visit thehypogeum of Piazza Duomo (10: 00-20: 00, € 5,00), an underground path that connects the square to the Foro Italico, built in the Greek era and used during the Second World Day as a bomb shelter.

2 - Cala Rossa beach

If you can't resist the call of a nice dip in the sea, Ortigia comes to your rescue with the small and central beach of Cala Rossa, where you can relax enjoying the sun and take a bath.

Alternatively, enjoy the alleys, courtyards, baroque palaces with balconies adorned with masks: on a walking tour of secret Ortigia you will discover not only masterpieces but also legends and stories around this mythical islet.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 1,1 km / 14 min
  • Places visited: Temple of Apollo (free); Cathedral of the Nativity of Holy Mary (€ 2,00); church of Santa Lucia alla Badia (free); hypogeum of Piazza Duomo (€ 5,00)
  • guided walking tour of secret Ortigia
  • Where to have lunch: Caseificio Borderi, Via Emmanuele de Benedictis - Get directions

One day itinerary in Syracuse: Evening

1 - Fonte Aretusa

Dine at Ristorante Arrìcriati, where you can taste typical products with a breathtaking view, for a cost of about € 35,00 per person.
After dinner, reach the Arethusa source, a source of fresh water, full of papyrus plants and fish and directly overlooking the sea, enjoy a walk to admire the streets of Ortigia in the evening, with its historic buildings and its flowered balconies.
Conclude your visit of Syracuse by taking a romantic walk along the seafront of Ortigia.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 300 m / 4 min
  • Places visited: Fonte Aretusa (free)
  • Where to dine: Arrìcriati Restaurant, Lungomare Alfeo, 7 - Get directions

Before leaving: useful tips

  • Best time to visit: late spring and early autumn are perfect for discovering the city. In summer you can enjoy the equipped beaches and the Sicilian sea
  • the most convenient airport is that of Catania. From here, you will find frequent buses that take you to Syracuse in 1h and 15 min, € 7,00
  • Getting around: it is not very extensive and you can easily move around on foot
  • Useful Tips: use comfortable shoes, bring a light raincoat with you, which will protect you from any sudden downpours and wind

What not to see: the attractions that are better to give up

Having only one day available, you will not be able to visit many attractions of Syracuse, which however can be very interesting, such as:

  • Maniace Castle
  • Belomo Palace
  • Basilica of Santa Lucia al Sepolcro
  • The Sanctuary of the Madonna delle Lacrime
  • archaeological Museum

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