Tour difficulty

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3 hours

Sicily Walking Tours: City Tours

Discover Jewish Siracusa


Exploring the Jewish Heritage of Siracusa

Embarking on a “Discover Jewish Siracusa” tour with Your Own Italy unveils a fascinating layer of Sicily’s rich tapestry of cultures and histories. Siracusa, a city that harmonizes ancient Greek and Roman ruins with baroque architecture, also holds a significant but less visible Jewish heritage. This personalized journey delves into the historical presence and contributions of the Jewish community in Siracusa, from the ancient Giudecca (Jewish Quarter) to hidden synagogues and the poignant stories of Jewish life in medieval Sicily.

The Giudecca: Tracing the Jewish Quarter
Your tour begins in what was once the Giudecca, the Jewish Quarter of Siracusa, situated in the heart of the city. Walking through its narrow, winding streets, you’ll explore the remnants and echoes of a vibrant Jewish community that thrived here during the Middle Ages. The area, although changed over centuries, still retains a sense of its past, inviting imagination to reconstruct the bustling life that once filled these lanes.

Miqwe: An Ancient Ritual Bath
A highlight of the tour is a visit to a recently discovered Miqwe, or ritual bath, which is among the most important signs of a Jewish community’s presence in a city. Hidden beneath the city’s surface, this Miqwe offers a rare glimpse into the spiritual and daily life of the Jewish population in Siracusa. The preservation and excavation of this site have opened a window into understanding medieval Jewish rituals and customs.

Synagogues and Sacred Sites
Although no active synagogues currently exist in Siracusa, your guide will help you trace the locations where synagogues once stood, discussing their architecture, functions, and the role they played in the community. This exploration is complemented by stories of notable figures from the Jewish community and their contributions to Siracusa’s cultural and intellectual life.

The Impact of the 1492 Expulsion
The tour also addresses the profound impact of the 1492 expulsion decree by the Spanish monarchy, which forced the Jewish community to convert to Christianity or leave Sicily. You’ll learn about the consequences of this decree on Siracusa’s Jewish community and the broader implications for Jewish history in Italy.

Your Own Italy: Unveiling Hidden Histories
Choosing Your Own Italy for your “Discover Jewish Siracusa” tour means engaging deeply with the city’s layered past. Our commitment to revealing the nuanced histories and cultural contributions of Sicily’s diverse communities ensures an enriching and enlightening experience.

Embark on a Journey Through Time
Are you ready to explore the hidden Jewish heritage of Siracusa? Contact Your Own Italy to plan your personalized tour. Discover the enduring legacy of the Jewish community in Siracusa, from ancient rituals to medieval streets, and connect with the profound histories that have shaped this captivating Sicilian city.

What's Included

  • Expert, licensed English-speaking guide
  • Private tour of Modica

Tips for Your "Discover Jewish Siracusa" Tour

Respectful Exploration: Many sites hold significant historical and emotional weight; a respectful demeanor is appreciated.
Comfortable Footwear: Be prepared for walking, including on uneven surfaces in historic areas.
Inquisitive Mindset: Bring your questions and curiosity. The rich history of Jewish Siracusa is most illuminating when engaged with actively.


Is there a dress code I should know about?
There is a dress code for churches and basilicas. Shoulders and knees must be covered; shorts, miniskirts, and sleeveless shirts are not permitted. It is also recommended that you not take large bags or backpacks on tours that include churches as you may not be permitted to enter and storage accommodations are not usually available.
What if there is bad weather?
Our tours operate rain or shine!
Is tipping customary in Italy?
Tipping is indeed customary in Italy ! It is considered a kind gesture and proper etiquette to leave “a little something extra” depending on the level of service you receive. For a private guide it is suggested to leave 15 – 25 euros for a typical 3-hour tour.
What happens after I’ve requested a booking through your website?
Your Own Italy will send a confirmation email within 24 hours of your booking. You will then be invited to make your payment using a link that will be provided.
Can wheelchair users go on this walking tour?
Not all walking tours are fully accessible for wheelchair users or those with walking disabilities. However, if anyone in your group requires special accommodation, please let us know when completing the booking and we will work out suitable alternative routes.
Can tours be modified?
Yes, we will do our best to adjust any tour to accommodate special requests.
How far in advance should I book my walking tour?
Tours should be booked 48 hours in advance. While we cannot guarantee availability if booking occurs in less than 48 hours, we will do our best to accommodate your request.
What are Your Own Italy’s payment terms?
Full payment is due when the tour confirmation email is sent, within 24 hours of your booking. You will be provided with a link to our payment page. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
What is your cancellation policy?
Tours must be canceled by email 24 hours prior to the start of the tour. If cancellation is made in less than this time, Your Own Italy cannot guarantee a full refund.
How do I amend a reservation?
Any changes to existing reservations must be requested by email. All efforts will be made to accommodate changes, but they cannot be guaranteed.
What should I do if I have a larger group than the size suggested on the website?
Your Own Italy is delighted to accommodate large groups. Please specify the number in your party when booking, and every effort will be made to organize a tour within the time limits provided.

Meeting Point

Please specify when booking whether you would prefer to meet your private guide at your accommodations or at a designated point near the highlights of the tour.

Duration Of Tour

Walking Tours last approximately 3 hours unless otherwise specified.
Tour times are average – some groups prefer a more leisurely pace with fewer sites, with your private guide, this is your option.