Siracusa, located on the southeastern coast of the island at 100km from the Resort, is the fourth largest city in Sicily by population. In the past, it was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world and among the largest greek polis in the world. In addition, for more than a millennium, until the
Islamic conquest of Sicily, Siracusa was the most important city in Sicily and the island’s capital of the Roman and Byzantine Empire. Characterized by enormous wealth and important historical evidences, in 2005 the city was awarded the title of World Heritage Site by UNESCO along with the ancient Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica.
The origins of Syracuse date back to the fourteenthcentury BC and refer to the remains of circular huts found on the island of Ortigia. The island of Ortigia was the first settlement inhabited of the ancient Syracuse, which was founded in the eighth century BC by the Corinthians. Later, in 485 BC, the city was conquered by Gelon, tyrant of Gela, who defeated the Carthaginians in 480 BC. With Gelon, wars against Athens began and continueduntil 415 BC with the defeat of Athens. In the third and fourth centuries A.D. Syracuse fell under Roman rule until 476 AD. There followed various rules and between 663-668 Syracuse became the capital of the Eastern Empire. The Normans rediscovered the city in the eleventh century and Frederick II of Swabia, in the thirteenth century, fortified the island of Ortigiawith Castle Maniace. In the sixteenth century, Charles V further enlarged and fortified the city, but in 1693 an earthquake completely destroyed the center which was rebuilt in Baroque style buildings. With the unification of Italy. in 1860, the Spanishwalls were demolished and the construction of the districts on the mainland began.
Some places not to be missed
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