NEITHER PALERMO, NOR CORLEONE: GREEK SICILY - AUGUST 2003
Sicily, once part of Magna Grecia, is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea. Phoenicians, Punic settlers from Carthage and Greeks, starting in the 8th century BC, lived in Sicily. The most important colony was established at Syracuse in 734 BC, though Akragas (Agrigento) was also an important part of classical Greek civilization.
"AGRIGENTO (as it was finally named in 1927), built on a cliff on the south coast of Sicily, was surrounded by two rivers - the Hypsas and the Akragas. It was founded c.580 BC as Akragas by Greek colonists of Gela, and became one of the most prosperous in the Greek world. Destroyed c.406 BC by Carthage, it recovered to fell definitively to the side of Rome in 210 BC during the Second Punic War. The fight between Sun and Clouds shown in the picture finally ended, after the visit to the historical site, with a massive downpour..."
"TEMPLE OF CONCORDIA, named after the Latin word for peace and unity, is a magnificent work of art. This Doric temple from the 6th/5th century BC is located in an acropolis in the Valley of Temples, surrounded by olive trees, and with a fabulous view to the sea. It is well preserved, perhaps for having been converted into a Christian Church, though it was never reconstructed.
The temple has six columns in the front and 13 on the sides, 13 being a lucky number in Sicily"
"VILLA ROMANA DEL CASALE - a UNESCO World Heritage Site - is located about 5km outside the town of Piazza Armerina, and is the richest and largest collection of late Roman mosaics in the world, including the famous Girls in Bikini mosaic (recorded in video...)! It was constructed in the first quarter of the fourth century"
"PIAZZA ARMERINA - The "town of the mosaici" has also a Duomo, and the Aragonese Castle..."
"TAORMINA - The Siculi (from near Valencia in Spain) were the first to come. Then, Greeks, Romans, Saracens, Normans, Italians, Goethe, Otto Geleng -a young Prussian painter -, everybody had been in Taormina. Tourists also started coming early, due to the extraordinary geographical location of Taormina, its glorious landscapes and its superb climate, as well as the fabulous colours of its sky, sea, beaches, trees and flowers"
"TAORMINA - The highlight of Taormina's antiques - the city was founded on a terrace of Monte Tauro in 358 by Andromachus - is the Theatre, where tragedies by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides and comedies by Aristophanes were performed. There is no photo of it (only video), but it is an extraordinary piece of architecture, with a fantastic view behind the stage to the sea. It was one of the largest theatres in Sicily, second only to the one in Syracuse..."
"BEACH - The beach at Naxos goes up North (1st photo) and down South (2nd photo), to Syracuse. Mount Etna Volcano was covered with clouds (to the right of the photo), and had just thrown some stones"
"SYRACUSE, described by Cicero as «the greatest Greek city and the most beautiful of them all», has seen its ancient core included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. The EAR of DIONYSIUS is an artificial limestone cave carved out of the Temenites hill. Its name comes from its similarity in shape to the human ear, and it is the most famous of the stone quarries - latomìa -, also used as prisons in ancient times"
"SYRACUSE RESTAURANTS with a view, at the Ortigia Island"