Archaeological Sites in Sicily - Sicilyincoming

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Syracuse is a historic city in Sicily. It was founded by the Corithians in 734 BC. Syracuse was leading city of Magna Grecia, then it underwent Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Swabian, Angevin and Spanish rule. Today numerous remains of Neapolis shows the city’s past greatness. One of the most important archaeological sites at Syracuse is the Greek Theater. It was built in 470 BC. Its cavea is amongst the largest ever built - 59 rows could accommodate up to 15,000 spectators. The theatre is still used for performances of classical works. The Roman amphitheatre, built in the 3rd Century AD, is also very impressive. The other spectacular ruins are: the Nymphaeum zone (with the cave), the imposing altar of Hieron II (king of Syracuse in 265-215 BC), the Latomie del Paradiso, which includes the great stone quarries known as the Ear of Dionysius, the Grotticelle necropolis, which contains the so-called tomb of Archimedes. Also, in Ortigia remained the city gates, the Temple of Apollo, and the Cathedral or Temple of Athena. Syracuse, along with the nearby Necropolis of Pantalica, which are rock tombs form the Ancient Greek period, has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Archaeological Museum     "Paolo Orsi ", one of the most famous in the world, exhibits very important relics from Sicilian prehistory, Greek civilization, from its colonies and other western Greek towns.




Greek Theatre


The Valley of Temples

The Valley of the Temples is an archaeological site in Agrigento and it is one of the most outstanding examples of Greece art and architecture. The site was founded in the 6th century BC as a Greek colony known as Akragas. It has a number of ruins including well-preserved Doric temples and remains of the ancient town that are still very much intact. The area was included in the UNESCO Heritage Site list in 1997.

Heraclea Minoa

Heraclea Minoa was an ancient Greek city, situated above valley of river Platani, 25km west of Agrigento. It was founded in the middle of the 6th century BC, and was abandoned around the beginning of the 1st century AD. The excavations, started in 1950, brought to light remains of dwellings made of rough bricks, some of them with signs of mosaics.  Also a wonderful theatre has been excavated, but it didn’t preserve very well, because it was made of a particularly soft stone.   At the entrance of the archaeological area there is a small Antiquarium. It housing the findings of the town like pottery, figurines and tomb equipment found beneath the archaic Greek necropolis.


One of the most interesting archaeological sites in Sicily is certainly the ancient Greek city of Morgantina. The city lies on a small plain surrounded by hills in east central Sicily in the province of Enna. The archaeological site of Morgantina contains evidence of occupation from the late Sicilian Bronze Age to the Late Roman Republic. At the center of plain are located Agora and Acropolis. In area of Acropolis are the oldest remains of the city, including the sacred area. At the foot of the Acropolis hill is located the residential area. In this area were found examples of luxury homes with mosaic floors and frescoed walls like the "House of the Doric capital ". The most interesting area of Morgantina is certainly the Agora. It was arranged in two levels (the lower for sacred rituals, the upper one for commercial and public) and connected by a large stairway. The Greek Theatre was also important part of Morgantina archaeological site. Its semicircular auditorium of 15 steps, divided into 6 areas , could accommodate near 5000 specators.

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