thumbnail A center of antiquity on the Mediterranean
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A center of antiquity on the Mediterranean © DaLiu/ShutterstockJoin Our GIFs Group
This bird"s-eye view lets us take in the charms of Ortygia, a small island just offshore from Syracuse, on Sicily"s east coast. Ortygia is considered Syracuse"s "old town" and the historical heart of the city. Two bridges cross the narrow channel that separates Ortygia from Syracuse. Ancient Greeks first colonized this island in the 8th century BCE, and the town is brimming with 2,700 years of history. Walk Ortygia"s web of narrow streets and you"ll see Greek and Roman ruins, medieval Norman buildings, and examples of Baroque architecture as well.