Jewish Syracuse walking tour
Activities

Jewish Syracuse walking tour

Free cancellation
Language: English , Italian , French
Mobile voucher accepted
Duration: up to 2 hours 30 minutes
Safety measures applied
Do this because
  • Enjoy a walking tour and discover Syracuse Jewish history
  • Learn more about ancient places like the Jewish Bath
  • Visit the Temple of Apollo and ancient synagogues turned into churches
What to expect

Begin your tour at the temple of Apollo, the oldest Doric temple in Sicily, an interesting place that retraces the whole history of the city. As a matter of fact, it was built in the 6th century BC as a place destined to the cult of Apollo, but throughout history, its purpose changes; it turned into a Christian church, Arab mosque, Norman church, Spanish barrack and even in a residential building. Visiting the remains of the Temple of Apollo, brought to light by the recovery works that began in the 1800s, you will be able to see elements of all these different phases: from Doric capitals to an Arabic inscription to a typically Norman door.

Then you will continue towards Palazzo Montalto, one of the few medieval buildings that survived the terrible earthquake of 1693. The Montalto palace was built, as evidenced by an inscription, in 1397 by Maciotta Mergulese. However, it was later donated by Queen Costanza of Aragon to the Jew Filippo Montalto, from whom it takes its name.

In Via della Giudecca, whose name suggests the high concentration of Jewish history in the area, you'll find the Church of San Filippo. It is believed that the church rises on what was once a great synagogue and that the place hides well-kept secrets. As a matter of fact, below the church, there are hypogea, underground chambers common throughout Ortigia and often connected to each other. Walk through a tunnel dug in the stone that leads to a miqwè, a sacred place where purification baths were carried out. The synagogues of the city were banned and destroyed following the edict of expulsion of the Jews, but some miqwè (or mikvé) resisted the passage of time giving you the opportunity to visit them.

Continuing along via della Giudecca you will arrive at one of the oldest Jewish baths (miqwè) in the world, where water from an aquifer still flows. It is a priceless historical jewel, found during renovation works.

The Church of San Giovanni Battista, also known as the church of San Giovannello) will be the last stop of your tour. Also in this case you will visit a synagogue which was later converted into a Catholic church. Its origins date back to 1380 and are visible in the architecture of the structure.

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COVID-19 information
The following health and safety measures are in place, so you can relax and enjoy your experience.
  • Visitor numbers are limited to reduce crowds
  • The experience complies with government regulations
  • Social distancing is enforced
  • Areas frequented by visitors are regularly disinfected
  • Hand sanitizers are provided for staff and visitors
  • All gear/equipment is sanitized between use
  • Visitors are required to bring and wear masks
  • Guides and all other staff are required to wear masks
  • Temperature screening is compulsory for all visitors
  • Visitors over 18 must show their ID and proof of one of the following: a full vaccination or first vaccination (this requirement varies depending on the country) received at least 15 days prior, recovery from a COVID-19 infection in the past 6 months, or a negative result from a PCR or antigen test taken no more than 48 hours before the experience starts. This may also apply to those aged 12 and above
  • Proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a negative result from a recent antigen or molecular test may be required, please check the local requirements before your visit.
  • What's included
    • Certified guide
    • Walking tour
    • Admission fees to the tour's sites
    • Custom gadgets (hats, shirts, backpack bag)
    • Lunch (if selected)
    Reduced price
    • Youth (age 12-17)
    • Children (age 3-11)
    • Infants (age 0-2): free of charge
    Where

    Largo XXV Luglio, SR Siracusa 96100, Sicily, IT

    Meeting point:

    At the Temple of Apollo.

    When
    • Please refer to the calendar for updated starting times and availability
    Read more
    Provider
    Siracusa Travel & Living
    Booking fee
    Good news! No extra fees are applied to this booking.
    Cancellation policy
    Receive a 100% refund if you cancel up to 24 hours before the experience begins.

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