Necropoli di Pantalica

Southeastern Sicily

On a huge plateau above the Valle dell'Anapo is the site of Sicily's most important Iron and Bronze Age necropolis, the Necropoli di Pantalica, with more than 5000 tombs of various shapes and sizes honeycombed along the limestone cliffs. The site is terribly ancient, dating between the 13th and 8th century BC, and its origins are largely mysterious although it is thought to be the Siculi capital of Hybla, who gave the Greeks Megara Hyblaea in 664 BC.

Very little survives of the town itself other than the Anaktron or prince's palace.

Set aside half a day for the site, which is best explored with a knowledgeable guide – Pantalica Experience is a reputable operator. Don't forget to wear sensible hiking shoes and bring plenty of water.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Southeastern Sicily attractions

1. Piazza Moro

9.09 MILES

A 400m walk north of Piazza del Popolo lies Piazza Moro, home to two exquisite baroque churches: the Chiesa Madre (on the southern flank) and the Chiesa…

2. Piazza del Popolo

9.13 MILES

The heart of Palazzolo Acreide is Piazza del Popolo, a striking square dominated by the ornate bulk of the 18th-century Chiesa di San Sebastiano and the…

3. Casa-Museo di Antonino Uccello

9.19 MILES

Off Piazza del Popolo is the former home of the poet and scholar Antonino Uccello (1922–79), a museum since 1984. Uccello devoted himself to preserving…

4. Area Archeologica di Akrai

9.74 MILES

Accessed via a 20-minute uphill walk from Piazza del Popolo (or an easy drive up Via Teatro Greco), the archaeological park of Akrai is one of the area's…

5. Teatro Greco

13.92 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. Orecchio di Dionisio

13.97 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…

7. Latomia del Paradiso

14.03 MILES

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…

8. Parco Archeologico della Neapolis

14.05 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…