Pantalica is a large necropolis in the province of Siracuse on Sicily in Italy


The Necropolis of Pantalica is a large necropolis with over 3,000 tombs dating from the 13th to the 7th centuries BC. Pantalica is situated in the valleys of the rivers Anapo and Calcinara in south-eastern Sicily. Together with the city of Syracuse, Pantalica is listed as Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites


Around 1300 BC the Sicans tribe left their coastal settlements and settled down in the valley between the rivers Fiume Anapo in the south and Fiume Calcinara in the north. As dwellings they used natural limestone caves in existing slopes and carved artificial caves in the mountain. Probably around 1100 BC the Anaktoron (palace) was built.

From the settlement over 5000 artfully constructed cave tombs are left. In 665 BC during the Hellenistic colonization of Syracase the settlement was destroyed. In the early Christian and Byzantine period new tombs were created. The Pantalica became a retreatment place during the Arab invading's who named the place Buntarigah (caves).

After the valley was inhabited by the Normans, it was abandoned. Paolo Orsi, an archaeologist, recognized his importance and started excavation activities. In 2005, it became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Flora and fauna

Pantalica: Fiume Anapo

In this area the oleander is very common. This evergreen plant blooms from May to July. The flower color varies from white to pink. The fruit is ripe in October-November. It is a poisonous plant for humans and animals because of the high content of glucosides. The Sicilian trout is a salmonid that is found only in southern Italy, Sicily, Sardinia and North Africa. This fish is very demanding, requiring fresh highly oxygenated water.

Get in

By car

The Necropolis has a   West entrance Pantalica and an   East entrance Pantalica. Both entrances can be reached by car. West from Ferla and east from Sortino. Follow the brown Pantalica tourism signs. A small visitors center can be found at the west entrance. You can park your car here but it is possible to follow SR11 further east and park your car at the end of the road.

By bus

Both entrances can be reached by bus from Syracuse.


In the season, there may be a charge for entry.

Get around

Go around by foot or by bike. Take headgear and drinking water.



When trudging around in necropolis time passes quick, but possibly you still have time for a swim in the Anapo or Calcinara.


There are no shopping facilities.


There are no eating facilities.


There are no drinking facilities.


Stay safe

Think about adequate sun protection and drink supplies. It can be very hot in summer. Refreshments are not available on the site.

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This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, August 14, 2014. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.