This Sicilian city delivers.
In other words, there is no shortage of experiences that will delight ALL of your senses. And there also is no shortage of stranieri (tourists), which can cramp one’s style. I highly recommend making Siracusa a stop on your Sicily itinerary, but I advise doing so outside of the peak vacation months of June, July, and August. It’s not that other months are devoid of crowds, but doing so means discovering Siracusa with a less impeded view. (We were there in mid-July and navigating the main arteries could be a challenge).
La Cattedrale di Siracusa is the city’s centerpiece.
As is the grand piazza surrounding it. When I entered La Cattedrale di Siracusa (read the more expansive history here), I thought, “Hey, another wonderful Italian duomo.” But this “duomo” is so much more.
You’ll understand more of Sicily’s complex past by making a visit to this church, a real-life architectural shape-shifter. Formerly called Cattedrale Metroplitana della Navità di Maria Santissima, this “Duomo” began as a Greek temple in 5th century BC. Then it became a Christian church, then a mosque, then a Christian church again. Paying for an audio guide was a wise move for me to keep track.
Take a look at the images below, particularly the ones where you can see the preserved Greek columns in the Doric style. They’re embedded into the current outside church walls (you can see them from outside as well).