Orecchio di Dionisio
Dionysius's Ear is an artificial cave located in the ancient stone quarry called Latomia del Paradiso, under Greek Theater of Syracuse. Excavated in limestone, it is about 23 m high and 5 to 11 m wide, and develops in depth for 65 m, with a trend that also makes it a place of acoustic sound amplification. Precisely this wall structure leaves open the question about its real use, that is, if it were only a quarry or if it was used to amplify the sounds. In 1625 the writer and traveler Pietro Della Valle visited the Ear, remaining astonished and convinced, like many at the time, that Archimedes would build the structure. Around 1770 also the painter and architect Jean-Pierre Houël visited the cave, performing a series of representations. Even the Argentine writer Cortázar cites Dionysius's Ear.