When the painter Michelangelo da Caravaggio, fled from Malta, he took refuge in Syracuse and was welcomed by fellow painter Mario Minniti. During his stay, Caravaggio visited the area of the latomìe in 1608, and it was here that he named this ancient quarry of the Greek era the "Ear of Dionysius" (for the shape of the entrance, which vaguely resembles that of a human ear).
Located in a charming garden with Mediterranean vegetation mixed with exotic plants, The Ear of Dionysius creates a beautiful trip, and this is the only one among the quarries of the archaeological area that is currently open for visits.
The teardrop shape of the Ear of Dionysus cavern (Orecchio di Dionisio in the original Italian) is renowned for acoustic properties that amplify even the quietest of sounds, allowing them to be heard through an opening at the top, some 72 feet from the ground.
In the nearby quarry, lemon trees grow; birds sing, and the area is quite pleasant. Until recent years, the nearby Grotta Dei Cordari (rope makers ' cave) was occupied by the rope-making industry. The cave today is structurally unsound and closed. It takes only five minutes or so to walk down to this area when visiting the theater. I strongly recommend a visit.
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