UNESCO named the entire city of Syracuse a World Heritage Site in 2005 because of both its monuments and archaeological sites. Attractions in the city include Greek structures (temples to Apollo and Zeus and a Greek theatre), Roman structures (an amphitheater), medieval palazzos, and some examples of the Sicilian Baroque style of architecture.
Not far from Syracuse, and also a part of the same UNESCO designation, is the Necropolis of Pantalica. It contains more than 5,000 tombs that date from as far back as the 13th century BCE. Collectively, the sites are known as “Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica” on the UNESCO list.
When you’ve soaked up enough history in Syracuse, the great outdoors awaits. The city offers plenty of options for water sports including sailing and diving, as well as opportunities to hike and go cycling. Excursions to nearby sites such as Mount Etna, Catania and the Baroque hill towns can be arranged from Syracuse.
Getting to Syracuse is pretty straightforward: trains and buses run regularly from Messina and Catania. If you’re planning to explore Sicily as a whole you should probably rent a car because getting around the island itself on public transportation can be frustrating, if not impossible depending on where you are.