Piazza Archimede is a beautiful square in Syracuse, located in the historical center of the city, on the island of Ortygia, about 250 meters away from the Cathedral of Syracuse and 280 meters from the Temple of Apollo.
In Greek times, although it was not a square, it was one of the main crossroads formed by the road of Decumano Maggiore, the current Via Dione and Via Roma, and the road of Decumano Minore, now Via della Maestranza and Via della Amalfitania.
During the 16th century, prestigious buildings belonging to noble families of the time were built around the square.
At the center of the square, stands the beautiful Fountain of Diana, built in 1907 by the sculptor Giulio Moschetti. The nymph Arethusa is depicted in the act of escaping from Alpheus who, with outstretched arms, tries to grab her. Diana, at the center of the group, protects the young girl.
To the north of the square, we have the Banco di Sicilia palace, built in 1928 after a design by Salvatore Caronia, which is characterized by a portal framed by rusticated semi-columns and a second order marked by pilasters with Ionic capitals.
Next, to the east, there is Palazzo Pupillo, built between 1773 and 1800, in Baroque style. The facade of the building, with three orders, has five arched portals surmounted by as many balconies on the second and third floor. The palace is crowned by a beautiful crenellated entablature.
The adjacent building, now the seat of the Prefecture of Syracuse, was built around the middle of the 20th century by Gaetano Rapisarda. The six decorative panels placed between the second and the third floor are the work of the sculptor Salvo Monica.
On the corner of Via della Mestranza and Via Roma, there is Palazzo Interlandi Pizzuti, a palace built in the 18th century in Baroque style. The building has two facades, one in Piazza Archimede and the other in Via Roma. The two facades are characterized by a series of arches with geometric decorations, in the middle of which there are the entrance portals.
To the south of the square, there is Palazzo Gargallo, built in the 17th century, which owes its present appearance, with rich stucco decoration, to the modifications made between 1895 and 1899.
Adjacent to Palazzo Gargallo is Palazzo Lanza Bucceri, the oldest building still standing in Piazza Archimede. Known also as Palazzo Platamone, the palace was built at the end of the 14th century and reconstructed in Renaissance style in the 15th century. It has a rather sober facade characterized by a simple rectangular portal and mullioned windows.
The building of Banca d’Italia, built in the 15th century and rebuilt in the 1950s, closes the square to the west. The building is also known as Palazzo dell’Orologio, called so because of the mechanical clock placed at the top of the facade in 1882.
HOW TO GET THERE
The Archimedes Square is located about 1.6 kilometers from the Syracuse railway station. Although the square is easy to find, you can use the map below for precise directions.