The Baroque side of Sicily is one of the most stunning areas to visit during your stay in Sicily! This private tour takes you to see the most fascinating Baroque architecture of the region visiting Ortigia and Noto on one side, and it will make you discover the ancient origins of Sicily in Syracuse.
About this tour:
- Discover Syracuse’s stunning historic center, Ortigia
- Make the most of the personalized attention of our experienced guide
- Visit one of the most important archeological sites of Italy in Syracuse
- Make the most out of your free time in Noto, the Pearl of Baroque
- Sample a traditional Sicilian lunch
Choose this private tour departing from Taormina to discover all the secrets of eastern Sicily, visiting Syracuse and one of the most important archaeological sites of the ancient world, and then walking among the Baroque wonders of Ortigia and Noto!
Start your private tour on the stunning island of Ortigia
This private tour will start with a pick-up from Taormina that will take you to the first stop, Ortigia, which is known to be Syracuse’s historic center. You will be accompanied by our expert local and charismatic guide who will lead you through the town’s main avenues while explaining the origins of this area. One of the attractions you’ll get to see during the excursion is the ancient “Duomo” of this little island, which rests its foundation on the remains of the most famous temple that once reigned over the city, the Temple of Athena.
Nowadays, the temple is no longer a pagan place of worship, because a Byzantine cathedral, built in full Baroque style, has been erected on the stepped basement and ancient columns. You will continue to discover the other island’s attractions, and before stepping into the next stop of the tour, you will have the chance to taste a traditional Sicilian lunch!
Explore Neapolis Park in monumental Syracuse
You will continue the tour in the heart of Syracuse, a city that left its mark on western Sicily through the different influences of the most important civilizations of the ancient world, the Greeks and the Romans. The Neapolis archaeological park stands on the ruins of what was once the capital of Magna Graecia, which the tyrant Gelon wanted to celebrate by building monuments and new neighborhoods. The archaeological site is developed on a relief called Temenite Hill, and in its northern part are the ancient ruins of Greek monuments and buildings, including the very famous Greek Theater. The theater was built in several stages by digging directly into the rock. In the 5th century B.C. it was expanded to accommodate the increase in population, and could probably hold up to 12-14,000 people. In the southern part of the archeological park you can see the Latomie. These caves are quarries from which very fine limestone was extracted, but this was not its only function! They were also the site of prisons where thousands of slaves have been confined for years. The most famous is the one named Ear of Dionysus, so called because of its shape resembling an ear pinna, and fueled by the legend described by the author Caravaggio that the tyrant Dionysus had it built to lock up his enemies in the cave, and then listen to their speeches.
Spend the afternoon in the “Pearl of Baroque”, Noto
At this point of this private tour you will have an hour of free time to spend in the stunning Noto, the Sicilian town known for its majestic buildings constructed in the Baroque style. You can stroll through its streets, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele for example, where you can find an amazing succession of churches and monasteries. At its end you will find the majestic Cathedral, St. Nicolò’s Basilica, the lavish building whose facade attracts tourists from all over the world. Despite being an imposing church, its history is actually marked by several collapses, the first in the 18th century, the second in 1844, and the last very recent in 1996. The reason for the building’s structure fragility was discovered after the latter collapse, which showed that the columns of the aisles were constructed with river stones, which being blunted by water and destabilized by frequent seismic movements, caused the several collapses.
Please note that Italy's law doesn't permit selling alcoholic beverages to teens under 18 y.o. so clients under this age will be served non-alcoholic beverages.
Please let us know in advance any special needs or impaired mobility of the clients and we will do our best to accommodate them.
We strongly suggest good walking shoes (no flip-flops!) as well as hat and sunscreen.
This tour runs on rain or shine.
price per person
based on a group of 4