Giovedì 12 Gennaio 2006 il Presidente della Repubblica Italiana Azelio Ciampi si è recato a Siracusa per scoprire la targa dell'Unesco secondo la quale Siracusa e Pantalica sono state dichiarate dall'Unesco PATRIMONIO DELL'UMANITA' per tutte le bellezze archeologiche e architettoniche presenti nelle due località siciliane
The site consists of two separate elements, containing outstanding vestiges dating back to Greek and Roman times: The Necropolis of Pantalica contains over 5,000 tombs cut into the rock near open stone quarries, most of them dating from the 13th to 7th century B.C. Vestiges of the Byzantine era also remain in the area, notably the foundations of the Anaktoron (Prince's Palace). The other part of the property, Ancient Syracuse, includes the nucleus of the citys foundation as Ortygia by Greeks from Corinth in the 8th century B.C. The site of the city, which Cicero described as the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of all, retains vestiges such as the Temple of Athena (5th century B.C., later transformed to serve as a cathedral), a Greek theatre, a Roman amphitheatre, a fort and more. Many remains bear witness to the troubled history of Sicily, from the Byzantines to the Bourbons, with, in between, the Arabo-Muslims, the Normans, Frederick II (Hohenstaufen, 1197 to 1250 A.D.), the Aragons and the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Historic Syracuse offers a unique testimony to the development of Mediterranean civilization over three millennia.
Criterion (ii): The sites and monuments which form the Syracuse/Pantalica ensemble constitute a unique accumulation, through the ages and in the same space, of remarkable testimonies to Mediterranean cultures.
Criterion (iii): The Syracuse/Pantalica ensemble offers, through its remarkable cultural diversity, an exceptional testimony to the development of civilisation over some three millennia.
Criterion (iv): The group of monuments and archeological sites situated in Syracuse (between the nucleus of Ortygia and the vestiges located throughout the urban area) is the finest example of outstanding architectural creation spanning several cultural aspects (Greek, Roman and Baroque).
Criterion (vi): Ancient Syracuse was directly linked to events, ideas and literary works of outstanding universal significance.