Syracuse boasts the only school of classical Greek drama outside Athens, and in May and June it hosts live performances of Greek plays (in Italian) at the Teatro Greco, attracting Italy's finest performers.
Find out more information here and book online one of our enchanting villas to enjoy the performances!
Villa Gemma is a cozy modern villa perfect for a sea holiday in Sicily. The turquoise water and the sandy beach of Punta Secca is just down the road only 70 meters far from the villa. The fisher village of Punta Secca has become well known abroad thanks to the successful RAI series Inspector Montalbano, based on the novels by the writer Andrea Camilleri. The main villa has 3 double bedrooms and its annexe has a double bedroom and a comfortable sofabed, together sleeping up to 10 people.
Located at 2 km from the charming beaches of Santa Maria del Focallo, it is composed by two separate apartments. The Villa is surrounded by a garden with olive and orange trees, parking for cars, barbecue area, swimming pool and tennis table. The apartments have their own separate entrance and can accommodate 5/6 guests. Air conditioning and internet wi-fi in included.
Villa Pietra Bianca is located at 400 meters from the charming beaches of Santa Maria del Focallo, just 10 minutes away from Pozzallo. The Villa has three fully equipped open spaces kitchens with dining rooms, two large living rooms, five bedrooms and four complete bathroom. Outdoor a private swimming pool with sun beds surrounded by a garden with outdoor furniture, a BBQ area and a hammock accomplish the villa for an unforgettable holiday in Sicily.
Fully equipped private Villa with modern furniture is 900 mt away from the superb beach of Marina di Ragusa. There are a spacious living room with a fully equipped kitchen inserted in a cabinet that can be placed out of sight by a door, a dining room, 3 bedrooms and 2 complete bathrooms. Outdoor a summer kitchen with a dining room in an airy veranda introduce to the furnishings verdant garden and a large private swimming pool perfect to spend the sunny cheerful hours of your summer in Sicily.
Described by Cicero as “the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all” Syracuse is the most storied town in the south of Sicily. Echoes of ancient civilizations still resound in the streets of this coastal city, and Baroque architecture narrates its eventual rebirth as sun, sand and sky envelop it with their brilliance. A journey to this corner of Sicily awakens profound sensations, as if one were crossing the threshold of time into thousands of years ago.
The city was colonized in the VIII century BC by Greeks who settled on the island of Ortygia. It wasn’t long, however, before this powerbase was seized by a succession of tyrants, like Gelon, Theron and Hieron and under their rule the city enjoyed success and splendor establishing its supremacy over the rest of Sicily. The city then fell to the Romans and to subsequent invaders- barbarians, Byzantines, Arabs and Normans.
The archaeological site, situated in the northwest of the town, is home to a staggering number of well-preserved Greek (and Roman) remains. The main attraction is undoubtedly the Greek theatre that dates back at least until the V Century BC, one of the most impressive theatre to survive from Antiquity. Its cavea is amongst the largest ever built: its 59 rows could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. The theatre is still used for an annual Greek theatre festival running from the middle of May to the end of June.
In the Park of Neapolis you will also found the haunting cave known as the Ear of Dionysius (Orecchio di Dionisio), situated in one of the most striking former limestone quarries (latomie) in Siracusa. As its name suggests, the cave resembles an auricle, both in the shape of entrance and the winding internal space beyond. It was the artist Caravaggio who gave the cave its name during his visit to Sicily in the early 1600s, and legend would tell us that it was used by Dionysius the Tyrant as a prison for his bitterest enemies; he was able to hear his enemies without seeing them, thanks to the cave’s extraordinary acoustic. Don’t miss a visit to the Roman Amphitheatre, built during the imperial era and the Ara di Ierone, an enormous altar partly carved out of the rock and commissioned by the tyrant in the III century BC for public sacrifices.
On the Island of Ortygia, connected by three bridges to the mainland, you find yourself in the thick of the monuments. The piazzas, streets and sidestreets trace a border around this small jewel box and its rocky beach, and its buildings, churches, temples, walls and facades decorate each corner. Piazza Duomo is an attractive irregular square where stands the magnificent Cathedral, built on the site of an ancient Temple of Athena as can clearly be seen from the original Doric columns that were incorporated into the building’s main structure. The 1693 earthquake caused the front façade to collapse; it was rebuilt in the Baroque style by the Palermo architect Andrea Palma.
The historical highlight of the western side is the Fountain of Arethusa. Legend has it that Arethusa, originally an Arcadian nymph, fled underwater to Siracusa in an attempt to rid herself of the persistent amorous advances of the river God Alpheios. The Goddess Artemis transformed her into the fresh water spring that we can see today. All was in vain, however, as Alpheios located his prey and mixed his own waters with hers. Today the fountain sustains palm trees and clumps of papyrus, ducks and drakes.
The history of southern Sicily has been shaped by a single natural cataclysmic event: the earthquake of 1963 which destroyed dozens of towns. Out of the rubble rose some of the most fanciful Baroque architecture the world has ever known: churches, palazzi and public squares were reborn in what Unesco called: “the culmination and final flowering of Baroque art in Europe”. Noto is, quite simply, the apotheosis of Baroque town planning and architecture! Prior to 1693 Noto stood some 10km away from its present site. The earthquake destroyed the old town and a less vulnerable site was chosen for the new town. Many Sicilian artists cooperated in Noto’s reconstruction, conducted under the supervision of the Duke of Camastra, acting representative of the Spanish viceroy. The new town was built like a stage set: its perspective were enhanced with curvaceous forms and curvilinear accents in facades, decorated brackets and keystones, curlicues and volutes, masks, cherubs and balconies with wrought-iron railings. The main axis is Corso Vittorio Emanuele, which runs through three piazzas, each with its own church. Piazza Municipio is the buisiest and most majestic of the three squares, overlooked on the left by the eye-catching elevation of the Palazzo Ducezio and on the right by the flight of steps to the cathedral entrance, with its broad and decorated façade. Don’t miss a visit to Palazzo Nicolaci: the richly carved brackets are ornamented with fantastical cherubs, horses, mermaids and lions, grotesque figures including one, in the centre, with an exaggerated snub nose and big lips. Come in May in Noto! You will enjoy the spring festival which culminates in the famous Infiorata in via Nicolaci. Towards the middle of may the locals recreate brilliantly coloured tableaux of flowers composed entirely of petals inside the doorways of the palazzi. The cobblestones of the street are transformed into a giant canvas of petals to form designs which vary from year to year.
Not far from this area are amazing coasts and nature reserve. Descend into the Cava Grande Gorge and take a refreshing swim in the natural rock pools at the bottom! From above, there is a magnificent view over the Cava plunging between sheer limestone cliffs. The river winds along the valley bottom, opening out intermittently to make a succession of tiny lakes. On the other hand, you can also visit the Riserva Naturale di Vendicari, created in 1984. It consists of a strip of marshy coastline which provides a rare and protected habitat for migratory species and a variety of sand-loving Mediterranean vegetation.
Lovely fishing towns are Capo Passero, Pozzallo, a sleepy hamlet that lies on the edge of a long beach Marzamemi, Pachino. The coast to the south of Syracuse has a number of attractive sandy beaches, such as Arenella, with its stretches of rocky coastline and picturesque creeks; Fontane Bianche and San Lorenzo, the most beautiful beaches in the area!