Sikels, Greeks and Byzantines in the Hyblaean Plateau
As both part of the World Heritage List of UNESCO, Palazzolo Acreide and the protohistorical site of Pantalica represent the key to the understanding of the settlement dynamics of human beings in the Hyblaean plateau. We will visit the most important architectural and archaeological treasures of the Hyblaean plateau of Syracuse, which is entirely framed by an enchanting natural landscape made of an impressive protohistorical rocky necropolis, Greek civil and religious architecture, Paleochristian catacombs, Byzantine rocky churches, and medieval and Baroque buildings.
The tour begins with the visit to the ruins of Akrai, a Greek colony established by Syracuse in 664/663 BC to keep control of the Hyblaean uplands. You will admire one of the best preserved Greek theatres of Sicily and Southern Italy, a bouleutérion, built for the city government, the so-called Aphrodite Temple and the great quarries of Intagliata and Intagliatella.
In Palazzolo Acreide, one of the baroque towns rebuilt after the terrible 1693 earthquake, we will go sightseeing around the oldest area, where there are the ruins of the Medieval castle and the Baroque churches of St. Paul, St. Nicolò and St. Maria Annunziata.
The visit to Pantalica consists of a trek along paths through the rock faces of the Anapo River and Calcinara Torrent, which contain over 5000 tombs cut into the limestone between the 13th and the 7th century BC. You will also go in the so-called Anaktoron, a megalithic building erected during the 12th BC, and different rupestrian churches and catacombs of the Byzantine age
Meeting Location + Tour Duration
Meeting location: Entrance of the Archaeological Park of Akrai in Palazzolo Acreide or your hotel in the surroundings
End location: Pantalica or your hotel in the surroundings
Duration: 8 hours
Walking and taxi
Estimated Local Cash Needed
9 Eur - Entrance tickets to: Archaeological Park of Akrai (€ 4,00 per person)
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This was our second tour with Alessandro, and we would hire him again without hesitation. He is a great tour guide, very knowledgable and personable, and very passonate about his profession. As an archaeologist myself, I really appreciated that he is a highly trained archaeologist who knows the prehistory and history of Sicily extremely well. It was a delight to hear him inform my wife and me about the two archaeology sites we visited. We highly recommend him as a guide!