Landscaping & Sites

Pantalica, walking through the Necropolis

Pantalica was the heart of the ancient Kingdom of Hybla which n its heyday,used Syracuse as its port

Pantalica was the heart of the ancient Kingdom of Hybla which,

in its heyday ,

used Syracuse as its port.

Rock-cut tombs,

dwellings and temples line the steep walls of the limestone gorges at the confluence

of the Bottigliera and Anapo rivers.

The city was conquered by the Greeks when the coastal colonies became powerful in the 8th-century BC,

and Pantalica became important again during the early Middle Ages,

when Arab invasions and constant wars led the locals to seek refuge in its inaccessible canyons.

The cave-dwellings and hermitages date from this period,

as do the ruins of a settlements known as the “Byzantine village“.

Walking through Pantalica.

This archaeological site ,

which is the largest Necropolis in Sicily,

covers a large area,

but the steep gorges mean there few roads,

and the only practical way of getting around is on foot.

About 9 km (5 miles) from Ferla stands the Filiporto Necropolis,

with more than 1,000 tombs cut out of the cliffs.

Next is the North Necropolis;

the last place to park is near the Anaktoron,

the megalithic palace of the prince of ancient Hybla dating from the 12th-century BC.

The roads ends 1 km (half a mile) further on.

From this point,

one path goes down to the Bottiglieria river,

where steep walls are filled with rock-cut caves,

and another takes you to the so-called “Byzantine village”,

the rock-hewn church of San Micidiario and the other Necropolises in this area.

It is not advisable to try to go to Pantalica from Sortino (the northern slope);

it is an extremely long walk.

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