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


4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Philippe Van der Mersch (12 months ago)
Very impressive! Specially when thinking about the hard ancient human labor
Nancy Aiello Tours (13 months ago)
Ear of Dionysus Cavern, Orecchio di Dioniso, is part of the huge stone quarry that provided the stone for the building of the city.
Petr Procházka (15 months ago)
Ear of Dionysius is a nice place, but people are really loud there as they’re trying the echo. So it would be better to avoid the guided yours or school excursions.
Ksenia Tsocheva (15 months ago)
The best thing in the Saracusa Archeological park. It’s interesting but particularly small cave which is very high. Unfortunately, I don't think it deserves 15 euro for entrance.
Angelina (17 months ago)
Beautiful caves made by prisoners looking for good stones for construction at the time of the roman empire
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