Ear of Dionysius

Syracuse, Italy

The legendary Ear of Dionysius is the most famous cave in Syracuse. It’s called this way for its ear shape and above all for its remarkable acoustic properties which amplify the sounds inside it. Its name was given by the painter Michelangelo da Caravaggio. According to the legend, the tyrant Dionysus used it as a jail and he used to eavesdrop on the prisoners’ conversations.

This cave was dug in Greek/Roman times as a water storage for Syracuse. A narrow tunnel was dug first. This tunnel was widened by digging down and sideways afterwards, giving the cave its unusual shape. The small narrow tunnel is still visible on the top of this artificial cave. An earthquake struck this area causing damage, and the cave became unusable for water storage afterwards.

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Founded: 5th century BC
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Italy

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Vladimir Balaz (11 months ago)
Ancient tourist attraction. Excellent acoustics. You can hear every sound in the ear-shaped sandstone cave.
Walter Van den Broeck (14 months ago)
It's worth a visit to get a bit more detail about the Greek history, Dionysios' paranoïa and experience the echo, but the cave was muddy and flooded with 10cm water when we visited it. Entrance of 10euro together with a visit of the Greek and Roman amphitheater is reasonable
Walter Van den Broeck (14 months ago)
It's worth a visit to get a bit more detail about the Greek history, Dionysios' paranoïa and experience the echo, but the cave was muddy and flooded with 10cm water when we visited it. Entrance of 10euro together with a visit of the Greek and Roman amphitheater is reasonable
Barbara Dulba (15 months ago)
Impressive , no picture reflects the size of it. Btw, a covid-conscious place.Temperature measured at the entrance, masks obligatory, one way paths.
Barbara Dulba (15 months ago)
Impressive , no picture reflects the size of it. Btw, a covid-conscious place.Temperature measured at the entrance, masks obligatory, one way paths.
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