From a New York Times online article:
A passeggiata, or evening walk, around the perimeter of Ortigia reveals many notable structures and stories. Start from the Parco Letterario Elio Vittorini, on the eastern side, and head clockwise. As waves crash against the rocks below the sea wall, you’ll pass crenelated lookout points and the chiseled facade of the 17th-century Chiesa dello Spirito Santo, before finding yourself in the palm-planted gardens of the 13th-century Castello Maniace.
Founded by Greeks around 734 B.C., Ithe southeastern Sicilian city that Cicero called “the greatest and most beautiful of all Grecian cities” achieved a size and status in the ancient world that made it a rival of major powers like Athens and Carthage. Takeovers and makeovers by Romans, Byzantines, North Africans, Normans and others left their marks as well, influencing everything from religious art to the region’s distinctive savory-sweet-sour cooking style. Much of the ancient city has crumbled since Cicero’s day, though the ruins can still be explored in Syracuse’s celebrated archaeological park and museum. But the main attraction today is the historical center of Syracuse: Ortigia island, a maze of narrow streets, ornate Baroque churches and centuries-old palazzi.