The Syracusan Hyblaean plateau
Theocritus imagined the idyllic landscape of his bucolic poetry by looking at the white calcareous crags of the Hyblaean Mountains from the coast of Syracuse. The soft slopes of these mountains, which are broken by the continuous furrows of their deep canyons, represent the enchanting scenery of a unique archaeological and historical-artistic heritage. The undisputed protagonist of this landscape is its soft calcareous rock. The Hyblaean population has always shared such a strict bond with its rock as to turn it into masterpieces. This is shown by prehistoric and Paleochristian hypogean tombs, the dense presence of dry stone walls, the excavation of huge Greek latomies (i.e. ancient quarries) and the late Baroque reconstruction after the 1693 earthquake.