Latomia del Paradiso


It was out of this deep, precipitous limestone quarry that stone for the ancient city was extracted. Riddled with catacombs and filled with citrus and magnolia trees, it's also where the 7000 survivors of the war between Syracuse and Athens in 413 BC were imprisoned. Its vaulted 'roof' of earth collapsed in the 1693 earthquake, leaving it exposed to sunlight and making it an ideal place in which to plant its current gardens.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Syracuse attractions

1. Orecchio di Dionisio

0.06 MILES

A renowned curiosity at the heart of the Latomia del Paradiso (Garden of Paradise) is the ear-shaped artificial grotto known as the Ear of Dionysius…

2. Parco Archeologico della Neapolis

0.08 MILES

For the classicist, Syracuse's real attraction is this archaeological park, home to the pearly Teatro Greco. Constructed in the 5th century BC and rebuilt…

3. Ara di Gerone II

0.09 MILES

West of the Roman amphitheatre is the 3rd-century-BC Ara di Gerone II. This monolithic sacrificial altar was a kind of giant abattoir where 450 oxen could…

5. Teatro Greco

0.12 MILES

The highlight of the Neapolis archaeological area is the Teatro Greco, a masterpiece of classical architecture that could accommodate up to 16,000 people…

6. Anfiteatro Romano

0.16 MILES

This 2nd-century Roman amphitheatre was originally used for gladiatorial combats and horse races.

7. Basilica & Catacombe di San Giovanni

0.43 MILES

The city's most extensive catacombs lie beneath the Basilica di San Giovanni, itself a pretty, truncated church that served as the city's cathedral in the…

8. Santuario della Madonna delle Lacrime

0.49 MILES

Supposedly modelled on the shape of a tear drop, the 102m-high spire of this church dominates modern Syracuse's skyline. The church itself houses a statue…