Syracuse and Rocky Necropolis Pantalica UNESCO Site
The UNESCO World Heritage Site covers diverse aspects that span 3,000 years of history with several cultural influences melding together. That's a pretty lofty umbrella for this particular site to maintain! In fact, the Syracuse and Pantalica sites are a divergent cluster of distinct cultures.
The essential fact, according to UNESCO, is that it is "a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilization over three millennia." That it is! In Syracuse, you'll find traces of all the cultures that came through here, ruled here, or sought refuge here through the many centuries, from the Greeks to the Romans to the Byzantines, and with the Bourbons, Aragons, Normans and more all leaving their marks.
One part of the UNESCO site is the ancient necropolis of Pantalica, where more than 5,000 tombs were cut into the rock walls of the escarpment, from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC. It includes the remains of Anaktoron, or "the prince's palace".
The other part is ancient Syracuse, and the island of Ortygia, which was founded by Greeks from Corinth around the 8th century BC. It was cited by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all." It is still beautiful. It includes the ancient Greek temple, Greek theater, Roman amphitheater, and more.
As you wander the streets of the ancient city, you'll find scenes reminiscent of the Middle East and northern Africa, details that speak of Spain or France, and ebullient Baroque and uniquely Sicilian flairs, all blending together. It bears out the UNESCO's motive, maintaining all those influences that developed the unique Mediterranean culutre!
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