Temple of Apollo
Just like the whole of Sicily, Ortigia bears witness to centuries of history and populations that lived there. It has seen the arrival of the Greeks, Romans, the Svevi people, the Aragonese, and the Arabs. You will fall in love with its clear constructions, the view, and the sea breeze. When you have crossed one of the two bridges that connect the island, you will immediately be welcomed by a splendid Doric temple made of Sicilian stone, built in the 6th century and surrounded by beautiful papyrus. Nearby there is Piazza Archimede and its majestic fountain surrounded by buildings that sum up the history of the city: medieval, Gothic and Baroque architecture each alongside the other.
Via delle Maestranze
Between artisans’ shops and the delicious Sicilian specialties, lose yourselves amongst the colors of Ortigia market, and, sat around a table with a view of the sea, tasting the fresh sea.
Continuing your walk on the island, you will come to Ortigia’s most southernmost point, where Maniace Castle rises as one of the most important monuments from the Svevo period. It was built by Frederick II in the first half of the 13th century and used both as a residence and as a defensive structure. Today, it is the home of exhibitions, events, and concerts.
To the west
Heading towards the east of the island, you will find the Aretusa Spring, the aquarium and the recently built marina. A beautiful walk along the seafront near the magnificent ships harbored near drinks and ice cream kiosks. The indisputable queen of the island because of its beauty and splendor remains the white Piazza Duomo surrounded by Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco, the Archbishopric, the Church of Santa Lucia alla Badia, Palazzo Arcivescovile and several other buildings used by nobles.
In the same square, you will also find the hypogeum, an underground path that can be accessed through a small opening along the garden wall in Palazzo Arcivescovile. The hypogeum has its tallest point in the square, and its main, long gallery joins the Foro Italico where the marina’s walls are. Catacombs, old air raid shelters, and underground baths, this underground tunnel network is second only to those of the eternal city.