Let’s discover together Syracuse, for many centuries the most powerful city known in the ancient world, Noto, one of the Baroque Cities in Val di Noto declared World Heritage by Unesco, and the natural reserve Vendicari Fauna Oasis located in the province of Syracuse, specifically between Noto and Marzamemi.
Find out about our half day and full day Tours.
Duration: half day (5 hours)
Level of difficulty: medium
Durata: full day (10 hours)
Livello difficoltà: medium
Half day excursion
(09:00 – 14:30)
Syracuse / Ortigia and Neapolis archaeological park
Let’s visit Syracuse accompanied by our expert guides. For several centuries it had been the most powerful city known in the ancient world and Cicero described it as “the biggest and most beautiful of all Greek cities”. Syracuse was declared UNESCO World Heritage in 2005. It is located in the South-Eastern coast of Sicily, at the mouth of rivers Anapo and Ciane.
First we’ll visit Ortigia peninsula, with the Santa Maria delle Colonne Cathedral, built around an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Athena. The ancient columns of the temple are still visible inside. We’ll proceed as far as the Aretusa Fountain: a fresh water spring located near the sea. The sea in front of it was stage for several naval battles between Carthaginians, Greeks and Romans. Time for a short break and a snack.
Visit to Neapolis archaeological park, where theatre shows are held still today, the Roman Amphitheatre, the altar of Hieron II and the caves dug into the rock as the famous “Ear of Dionysius” and Archimedes’ tomb. (Entrance is not included in the fee. Price 10,00 € per person-. Under 18 and over 65 free entrance)
Full Day Tour:
(9:00 – 19:30)
(Noto, Syracuse/Ortigia and Vendicari)
San Domenico Church – Noto
First stop in Noto, where we’ll visit famous baroque buildings as the cathedral, San Domenico church or Villadorata Palace. Noto is 31 km far from Syracuse and it is located in the South-Western part of the province, at the foot of Iblei mountains. Also the gulf formed by the coast between Avola and Pachino is named after it. As you go along the town streets you’ll notice spectacular squares and impressive stairways connecting terraces. The uniform reconstruction created a coherent urban fabric with a magnificent architecture. A local crumbly stone coloured halfway between gold and rosè, and richly carved was chosen to be used. The homogenous reconstruction was under the supervision of the Duke of Camastra, who served as a representative of the Spanish Viceroy in Noto.
During the excursion you’ll visit:
San Domenico Church: it is one of the most important and best-preserved examples of religious Baroque architecture in Noto. It was built as monastery church by the Dominican Fathers, and it is the magnificent result of the work by architect Rosario Gagliardi, built between 1703 and 1727.
San Nicolò Cathedral is the most important place of worship in the whole town of Noto, as well as bishop’s seat of the same dioceses in Sicily. It is located on top of a wide stairway, on the Northern side of piazza Municipio (domus-ecclesiae area), and it is dedicated to Saint Nicholas, bishop of Mira.
Palazzo Nicolaci di Villadorata with its exuberant balconies, its bizarre shelves shaped like putti, horses, mermaids and lions and grotesque figures among which, at the centre, a man with typical Middle East features (snub nose and big lips).
Vendicari Natural Reserve and Fauna Oasis is located in the province of Syracuse, precisely between Noto and Marzamemi. Men have lived within the reserve area since long time ago. There are several archaeological and architectural settlements witnessing men living here since the Greek period. It is possible to find evidence of pools used as warehouses in an ancient building used for fish processing dating back to the Hellenistic period, and also a small necropolis next to it.
After a refreshing bath (for those who wish it) you’ll get to a holiday farm for a typical Sicilian lunch.
In the afternoon visit to Syracuse, Ortigia peninsula, with Santa Maria delle Colonne cathedral, built around an ancient Greek temple dedicated to Athena. The ancient columns of the temple are still visible inside. We’ll proceed as far as the Aretusa Fountain: a fresh water spring located near the sea
- A guide will accompany you during the whole excursion. (except at the archaeological park)
- The Tour is suitable for all ages.
- Daily Excursions
- pick-up at Catania port Included