The ear of Dionysus

It is surely the most unique one, both for its name and for its shape.

It is 23m tall and 11m wide, while its depth goes for 65m, with an S-shape, which becomes tighter inside. The name was given to it by Caravaggio, who visited it in 1586 and it was inspired by its shape, which resembles the ear canal of the human body: so he called it "ear" and it associated it to the tyrant of Syracuse, Dionysus.

The legend tells that the tyrant of Syracuse used to imprison his enemies inside this groove. He listened to their discussions, thanks to the strong echo and a small crack, where Dionysus used to put his ear in order to predict his enemies' moves. Thanks to its strategic position and the strong echo, some historians think it was used in the past during Greek tragedies, in particular they thought the choir would sing inside of it so that the voice would echo.

The groove of Rope Makers

It is inside the Latomia del Paradiso, close to the Ear of Dionysus. It is an artificial groove, which is sustained by a series of pillars caved in the rock.

Here, the expert artisans used to make ropes for the ships, as they were intertwining the threads thanks to the humidity. The groove of Rope Makers is famous also for the internal lights. In some parts of the wall, it is possible to notice some mine plants of limestone blocks.

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