pronounced [siraˈkuːza] also known as Syracuse.
The Province of Siracusa has an area of 2,109 km², and a total population of 396,167 as of 2001. Syracuse has 8% of the Sicilian population and 8.2% of Sicily's area. It is bordered on the north and north-west by the Province of Catania and on the west by the Province of Ragusa. Its capital is the city of Siracusa.
The historic city of Siracusa is notable for its rich Greek history, culture, amphitheatres, architecture, and as the birthplace of the pre-eminent mathematician and engineer Archimedes. This 2,700-year-old city played a key role in ancient times, when it was one of the major powers of the Mediterranean world. The city was founded by Ancient Greek Corinthians and became a very powerful city-state. Once described by Cicero as "the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all", it later became part of the Roman Republic and Byzantine Empire. Syracuse is located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily, right by the Gulf of Syracuse next to the Ionian Sea.
In the modern day, the city is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In the central area, the city itself has a population of around 125,000 people. The inhabitants are known as Siracusans, and the local language spoken by its inhabitants is the Sicilian language. The patron saint of the city is Saint Lucy. She was born in Syracuse and her feast day, Saint Lucy's Day, is celebrated on 13 December.
World Heritage Site by UNESCO is a programme which aims to catalogue, name, and conserve sites of outstanding cultural or natural importance to the common heritage of humanity. The deciding committee who evaluate potential candidates described their reasons for choosing Syracuse because "monuments and archeological sites situated in Syracuse are the finest example of outstanding architectural creation spanning several cultural aspects; Greek, Roman and Baroque", following on that Ancient Syracuse was "directly linked to events, ideas and literary works of outstanding universal significance.