Syracuse: More than any other city, Syracuse (Siracusa) encapsulates Sicily’s timeless beauty. Ancient Greek ruins rise out of lush citrus orchards, cafe tables spill onto dazzling baroque piazzas, and honey-hued medieval side streets lead down to the sparkling blue sea. It is difficult to imagine now, but in its heyday, this was the largest city in the ancient world, bigger even than Athens and Corinth. Its ‘once upon a time’ begins in 734 BC, when Corinthian colonists landed on the island of Ortygia (Ortigia) and founded the settlement, setting up the mainland city four years later. Almost three millennia later, the ruins of that then-new city constitute the Archaeological Park of the Neapolis, one of Sicily’s greatest archaeological sites. Its thousand-year-old history, the Neapolis, Ortygia, the papyrus of the Ciane, its charming and fascinating territories and coasts, make it one of the top destination for those who visit Sicily.
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