archaeological explorations found some Stone Age villages scattered
in the Iblei Mountains and the southern part of Sicily.
With the passage to Neolithic Age agriculture with its breeding,
use of ceramics and the settlements in the first closed villages,
the people who brought about this civilisation were shepherds and
farmers who came from the East, and were of Mediterranean ancestry
Around the Thirteenth and Twelfth century B.C. on this part of the
island landed the Siculi that had wider technical capacities and
were imbued in the Mediterranean culture.
The intense Greek colonization process which affected Eastern Sicily
in the early Eighth century were mainly associated with events in
Syracuse which became a true city state and Hellenic outpost. Furthermore,
in 734 B.C. a group of Corinthians were the first to settle on Ortigia’s
Siracusa growth was rapid and tumultuous, due to a long series of
social tensions that ended with the tyrant Gelone, founder of the
Dinomenidi (485-478 B.C.). Under him the city was enlarged and went
trough a period of particular splendour, culminated with the victory
of Imera against the Carthaginians.
The pomp of Syracuse’s court also continued under its successor
Gerone (478-467 B.C.), patron of the most celebrated poets and philosophers
of that period. Later the city’s expansionistic aims brought
about war with Athens, its competitor for power to the control the
Mediterranean Sea. After a long siege the Athenians were definitively
defeated in 413 B.C.
The threat of the Carthaginians was more dangerous, for after conquering
Selinunte, Imera and Agrigento, they planned to colonise Siracusa
too. Dionisio I (406-367 B.C.), after taking the command of the
army, was able to contain this threat, and at the same time began
a program to strengthen the city’s defences. But the war,
through its highs and lows, continued under his successors, Timaleonte
di Corinto and Agatocle. Under Ierone II (269-215 B.C.) Syracuse
finally enjoyed a long period of prosperity and peace, until the
Roman conquest of 212 B.C., in spite of strenuous resistance in
which Archimedes played a first-class role with his ingenious war
machines. Annexed into the province of Sicily, Syracuse ceased to
be an independent city. After being plundered by Verre’s government
during the Imperial age, Syracuse started to slide into decadence.
In 878 Syracuse was occupied by the Arabs, and then in 1038 was
conquered by the Byzantines headed by Giorgio Maniace. After that
the Normans came and then the Svevians, followed by the Fourteenth
century conquest by the Aragonians.
Under the Spanish rule it became a military fortified town.
The violent earthquake that hit Eastern Sicily in 1693 caused great
damages to the Siracusa’s area. Different urban realities
like Augusta, Avola, Ferla, Francofone, Lentini, Noto, Palazzolo
Acreide were seriously damaged or completely destroyed. Large part
of the current lay-out or architecture of the Siracusa’s region
was defined in the Seventeenth century, and from the ruins of a
huge tragedy emerged urban and architectural lay-outs with an extraordinary
value and originality: the newly built urban lay-out of Avola, the
wonderful baroque centre of Noto, the territorial road lay-out of
Palazzolo Acreide. Between the end of the Eighteenth century and
the beginning of the Nineteenth century all the province, and specially
Siracusa, were subject to profound transformations (building growth,
creation of new districts).
During the Second World War Siracusa and part of its province were
seriously damaged by the Anglo-American bombing, and after the landing
of the allied armies, also by the German bombing. The new development
of the city of Siracusa and its province should be related to its
position, to the presence of a very good natural harbour, to its
growth in the primary sector, to its tourist attractions, but mostly
to the impetuous industrial development.
Porto Palo di Capo Passero
Eremo San Corrado
Laghetti Di Avola
Marina Di Avola
Marina Di Noto
Scivoletto e Michelin Italia. Le foto sono di proprietà
dei rispettivi autori. Ogni riproduzione non autorizzata verrà
perseguita a norma di legge.
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Guide of Sicily
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