Syracusa, Sicily, Italy
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Approximately 4 hours
Meals not included
Departing from pier, a brief drive brings you to the Syracuse archaeological area for a visit to the Roman amphitheatre of Augustus. This is the ancient site of contests held between gladiators and wild beasts. You'll also see the 2nd-century BC Altar of Hieron, the huge Latomie caverns once used as prisons, the enormous Ear of Dionysius grotto with its extraordinary echo, and the Greek theatre -- one of the largest in the Hellenic world, which dates back to 5th century BC.
An expert Sicilian archeologist will join you and offer an in-depth explanation of this site with a detailed ancient historical perspective.
You will then head to the center of Ortygia for a walking tour through Syracuse's Old Town. Ortygia is primarily a medieval city with Baroque palaces and churches. Watch for the Piazza Pancali, which contains the ruins of the 6th-century Apollo Temple, Corso Matteotti, and Archimedes' Place. Visit the 7th-century cathedral, which was built over the ruins of the Doric Temple of Minerva. Its interior boasts the original and undamaged Doric columns. The Piazza Duomo (Cathedral Square), lined with Baroque Palaces, was once the Greek Acropolis.
As you walk towards the waterfront, discover the Arethusa Fountain -- a natural freshwater spring. The Greeks claimed a nymph was turned into this fountain by the Goddess Diana.
Please note: Total amount of walking may vary depending upon the pier assigned. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.