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Monday, July 23, 2012

Syracuse, an Amazing Sicilian Tourist Spot

English: Piazza Duomo, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy...English: Piazza Duomo, Syracuse, Sicily, Italy. Fran├žais : Piazza Duomo, Syracuse, Sicile, Italie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Author: Jacob

The city of Syracuse sits handsomely on the shores of Sicily facing the Ionian Sea. Probably one of the few cities which could challenge Rome in terms of power and prosperity, Syracuse exudes an old world charm that will transport you back in time. Make sure you spend some time in Syracuse while travelling around Italy.
This ancient city was founded in the year 733 B.C by the Corinthians and has a bloody political history that had seen the rise and fall of many great leaders. Syracuse was allied to Sparta and Carthage when it was founded and later became a powerful city-state in the Mediterranean region. Later it came under the Roman Republic and thrived as a port of trade between the Eastern and Western parts of the Roman Empire. The Vandals captured Syracuse which was not meant to last for long as the Byzantine Empire came to claim it in the year 535 A.D. In the year 828 A.D., the Arabs besieged the city and under their two century rule, they rebuilt the city along Islamic styles. Again in 1038 A.D., the Byzantine Empire reclaimed it and thus ended what seemed to be the most part of Syracuse's blood-spattered history.

Syracuse was home to many great men who have left their mark in history. Archimedes, the eminent mathematician and engineer spent his entire life here. The city was benefitted by many of his inventions during the Punic wars. Aeschylus, one of the three great tragedians whose plays are performed even today was associated with Syracuse. Several Arab poets flourished in this city during the Arab reign, the most notable one being Ibn Hamdis.
The architecture in Syracuse is witness to the various cultural influences as a result of the volatile political scene. It is even safe to say Syracuse has contributed a lot to Italian architecture. The city houses many notable works of architecture which vary from formalised Greek temples to Byzantine style churches. The Temple of Apollo, which was transformed into a church during the first Byzantine rule and then later into a mosque under the Arab rule, is a majestic edifice. The Fountain of Arethusa in the Ortygia Island which is also a part of Syracuse is known for its intricate sculpture. While planning a vacation to Sicily, make sure you visit Syracuse's amphitheatres. Two amphitheatres, one Greek and the other Roman, are well preserved in Syracuse. The Greek amphitheatre is semi-circular and open while the Roman amphitheatre is oval and fully closed. Syracuse houses many beautiful churches and cathedrals that bear testimony to the various cultural influences it has witnessed over the period of time.
Syracuse was announced as a World Heritage site together with the Necropolis of Pantalica in the year 2005. It is not a surprise that an ancient city with so much cultural legacy needs preservation against the ravages of time. It has become one of the major tourist attractions in Sicily. Do not miss the white sands and the pristine blue waters in the beaches of Syracuse while visiting Sicily. The food in Syracuse is one of the many other reasons why you should visit Syracuse while touring Sicily. Fresh fish and vegetables are in abundance owing to the ambient temperature found throughout the year. Restaurants dish out delicious pizzas and pastas which will leave you longing for more. Syracuse also features a wide range of hotels to suit your budget.
Visit Syracuse with the guidance of Perillo tours. This tour company offers numerous travel packages to Italy at affordable prices. You can also find many informative Italy travel tips on its website.
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