Catania’s Persephone Fountain

This fountain, Fontana Ratto di Proserpina (The Rape of Persephone Fountain), exists in Catania at the Piazza Giovanni XXIII. It was sculpted in 1904 for Sicily’s second largest city by Giulio Moschetti (1847-1909). Moschetti is the same sculptor who created the Fountain of Diana in 1906 for Ortigia’s Piazza Archimede.

With a nod to the well-known 1622 Bernini sculpture, Ratto di Proserpina, which is in Rome, the fountain refers to the centuries-old myth of when Hades abducted the maiden Kore and pulled her into the underworld.

As the leaves outside my windows in the New York City area turn bright reds, oranges, and yellows, I think of earth’s seasonal cycles that were explained by this myth for centuries. Kore’s abduction and then transformation into Persephone, the Goddess of the Underworld, prompted her grieving mother Demeter to let everything on the Earth’s surface die until her negotiated return each spring. The myth of Demeter and Kore/Persephone is significant when talking about ancient southern Italy–and we’ll be discussing it and more during both our May 2018 Myths & Mysteries tour and June 2018’s Ancient Italy: A Cultural Journey Through Campania and Sicily tour.

Join us! Now until Nov. 1, when you pay in-full for these or our September 2018 cooking in Sicily experience, Stirring Sicily, you’ll save an additional $100 off of our already early-registration incentive pricing. Learn more at

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