Category Archives: Syracusa

Italy, Sicily, Syracusa – Roman and Greek ruins abound

We ventured out of lovely Taormina to visit Syracusa – a place that was occupied by the Greeks 700 years BC and the Romans 100 BC to 200 AD – stuff lasts a long time over here or maybe they just built things better back then?

The first pictures show the Greek amphitheater which is the oldest and where they were about to put on their annual performance of  Greek  Tragedies and Comedies – hence the stage. It is in pretty good shape and you get a real feel for how it must have been when the place was swarming with people attending the dramas and of course food fests that went on when the plays were performed. There are numerous large cave structures where the acoustics are perfect – although we only heard lots of kids screaming which made it difficult to imagine…..

You can also see the remains of the Roman amphitheatre – which is not in such good condition. It is much bigger as they found the Greek theatre for drama was not well designed for the live animal and gladiator shows they preferred – animals could too easily join the audience and this did not generally end well! Clearly the Greeks loved their drama and the Romans liked their sport!

Then we headed to the actual town of Syracusa on the waterfront – loads of narrow lanes that unexpectedly open out onto the vast central square – very impressive and a good place for coffee and people watching.