The Greek theatre of Syracuse lies on the south slopes of the Temenite hill, overlooking the modern city of Syracuse. It was first built in the 5th century BC, rebuilt in the 3rd century BC and renovated again in the Roman period. Today, it is a part of the Unesco World Heritage Site of 'Syracuse and the Rocky Necropolis of Pantalica'.
It seems that the theatre was renovated in the third century, transforming it into the form seen today. Its structure was extended, taking into account the shape of the Temenite hill and the best possibilities for acoustics. Another typical characteristic of Greek theatres is the celebration of the panoramic view, also applied to the theatre of Syracuse, offering a view of the bay of the port and the island of Ortygia.
During the Roman era, important modifications were made to the theatre, perhaps at the time when the colonia was founded in the early Augustan period. The cavea was modified to a semicircular form, typical of Roman theatres, rather than the horseshoe used in Greek theatres and corridors allowing access past the scene building (parodoi). The scene building itself was reconstructed in monumental form with rectangular niches at centre and two niches with a semicircular plan on the sides, containing doors to the scene.References:
The eight towns in south-eastern Sicily, including Ragusa, were all rebuilt after 1693 on or beside towns existing at the time of the earthquake which took place in that year. They represent a considerable collective undertaking, successfully carried out at a high level of architectural and artistic achievement. Keeping within the late Baroque style of the day, they also depict distinctive innovations in town planning and urban building. Together with seven other cities in the Val di Noto, it is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In 1693 Ragusa was devastated by a huge earthquake, which killed some 5,000 inhabitants. Following this catastrophe the city was largely rebuilt, and many Baroque buildings from this time remain in the city. Most of the population moved to a new settlement in the former district of Patro, calling this new municipality 'Ragusa Superiore' (Upper Ragusa) and the ancient city 'Ragusa Inferiore' (Lower Ragusa). The two cities remained separated until 1926, when they were fused together to become a provincial capital in 1927.