Ear of Dionysius

The Ear of Dionysius is the most popular of the caves that open on the northern front of Latomia of Paradise, made of stone from the quarry workers that followed the lines of limestone of better quality. High about 23 m. wide and from 5 to 11 m., with walls converging to form a pointed vault slightly beveled, the cave is developed in depth to 65 m. Michelangelo da Caravaggio, who visited the cave in 1608 during his journey to Malta, called the “Ear of Dionysius” for its characteristic S-shaped, vaguely similar to an ear, and especially for its outstanding acoustic properties, which amplify sounds; legend has it that he used the tyrant Dionysius shut his enemies inside the cave to hear from, not seen, speeches, amplified by the echo. In reality, the cave owes its shape to the way it was built; excavation started from the top, following the winding route of an aqueduct, and widened as they went down deep, following the trend of the lodging of limestone. As the nearby caves Cordari and Saltpeter, are clearly visible on the walls, the signs of the working of the rock and the posting of blocks.
For schedules, fares and information, see the card Archaeological Park
The text of this card have been validated by the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Syracuse

Address: Via Paradiso, 14 – 96100 Syracuse
Coordinates: N 37.07658 – E 15.276164