Sicilia - Places to Visit - Giardini Naxos
The most important sea resorts of this part of the Ionian Coast include the already mentioned Mazzaro` with its beautiful sickle-shaped beach, and Giardini Naxos, an enchanting seasonal and bathing resort with excellent tourist facilities, which has developed on the site of the ancient Greek colony of Naxos, founded in the eighth century B.C. and destroyed by the Syracusans three centuries later.
What remains of the ancient settlement are substantial vestiges of the walls, dating from the sixth century B.C., some gates and a tower, besides the space that must have been occupied by a vast sanctuary. In this large area an ancient temple probably dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite has been identified (seventh to fifth century B.C.).
Also in this area an altar and two kilns, probably connected with the sanctuary, have come to light. Another section of the archaeological area is occupied by the ruins of the city built to replace the one destroyed in 476B.C., remains of temples and artisans' workshops (those of makers of clay vases and statues) have been found here.
The numerous finds from the area (pottery, clay objects, sculptures, terracottas, architectural fragments) are displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Naxos which is situated in the former Bourbon Fort on Cape Schiso`.