Travel and Culture in Sicily
Syracuse’s origins date back to the 14th century B.C.and refer to the remnants of circular huts which were present on Ortigia islet.
Ortigia island was the first inhabited settlement of the ancient Syracuse, that was founded in the 8th century B.C. by the Corinthians. Later, in 485 B.C., the town was conquered by Gelone, the Tyrant of Gela who defeated the Carthaginians in 480 B.C.
The wars against Athens began withGelone and went on until 415 B.C., with the defeat of Athens.
In the 3rd and 4th centuries A.D. Syracuse fell under the Roman domination, that lasted until 476 A.D. Some various dominations followed and from 663 to 668 Syracuse also became the capital of the Eastern Empire.
The Normans rediscovered the town in the 11th century and Frederick II of Swabia, in the 13th century, fortified Ortigia island with the Castle of Maniace.
In the 16th century Charles V still further enlarged and fortified the town, but in 1693 a violent earthquake completely destroyed the centre, that was rebuilt with buildings in Baroque style.
In 1860, with the Unity of Italy, the Spanish walls were demolished and the areas of the town on the mainland were built.