Ancient Sicily That Sings

This lekythos with a woman lute player depicted on it was found in a tomb at Selinunte. Lekythoi (plural) were vases used to store oils for use in the gymnasium or bath or for funerary functions. Note the red-figure. This was an Athenian-style technique specific to the 5th century BCE.

The Power Of The Pomegranate

Pomegranates (melograni in Italian) are in season. Scholars believe that the fruit was brought to Sicily by both the Phoenicians and the Greeks, not only for food, but also for religious reasons. Pomegranate seeds represent fertility, prosperity, abundance, and generosity. And because of the Persephone myth–when the maiden daughter of the goddess Demeter eats the…

Ancient Restaurant Discovered At Himera, Where We’ll Be Cooking

In yesterday’s La Repubblica Palermo newspaper, an article explained that at the site of the ancient Greek city of Himera, they have discovered the 6th Century B.C.E. remains of a caffetteria-style restaurant. Ovens, stoves, pots, pans, and plates have been excavated. I visited Himera and met the director of the site back in June with…

Ancient Sicilian Devotion

As we prepare for our annual Feast of Santa Lucia on Sunday, Dec. 9 in NYC at Cacio e Vino (Details and register at https://experiencesicily.com/events/festa-di-santa-lucia/), we must first start long before Lucia’s time, in the 7th century B.C.E. During this ancient Greek era, women devotees prayed to the goddesses Persephone and Demeter for healthful fertility…