Ortigia is the historical heart of Siracusa: it was founded around the 8th century BC by the Greeks. Listed among the largest metropolises of the classical age and Magna Grecia, its power and wealth rivalled those of Athens, who attempted in vain to conquer it. Numerous influential people who visited it, like Archimedes – who was killed there by the Romans – and Plato, who dreamt of creating in Siracusa the city described in his Republic. In the 1st century BC, Cicero still described it as the ‘largest and most beautiful Greek city’.
In 1693, a violent earthquake destroyed it, but it was rebuilt in a few years, in the Baroque style that still characterise it. In modern times, it was one of the main stops on the Grand Tour. In 2005, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site.
The city was entirely lit with LED lighting by Citelum, who replaced thousands of lighting elements with similar products equipped with LED sources. On the lamp posts with swan neck brackets in the beautiful piazza del Duomo, the old suspension elements were replaced with ‘Light Nova’.
Ortigia is surrounded by fortified walls, extending to the sea, forming an actual peninsula. Since the 1980s, the old ‘Light 800’ lanterns made by Neri lit it. These were replaced with new ‘Light 801’ LED lanterns. The same luminaire was also used in the streets and inner alleys of the city.
At the end of the Ortigia peninsula, where the city’s nineteenth century architecture meets the background territory, Citelum replaced hundreds of semi-spheres on 9-metre high columns with ‘Light Polaris’.
‘Light Polaris’ was also used to light piazza Archimede, with its famous fountain dedicated to Diama – the Greek Goddess Artemis, protector of the city and the young Arethusa who lifts her arm, terrified, as she escapes her pursuer Alpheus who, tricking her, leans out to grab her.
The Siracusa project was completed with bollards and benches of the Dhalia Series, positioned along Corso Vittorio Emanuele – the part of the city built in the Twentieth century – and next to the beautiful ruins of the Temple of Apollo.