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…

Goldery Star

The nymph Arethusa (or Aretusa) and her myth are central to the ancient history and culture of Siracusa, Sicily. So much so, that her image, surrounded by dolphins, is featured on the ancient coins of the city–from 415-400 BCE! This coin, which I photographed through a magnifying glass, may be seen in the newly opened…

At Selinunte, I Feel Ghosts

Yesterday, Tony, Dominic, and I visited the magnificent ancient city of Selinunte with our guide Gianluca. I’m always taken aback by this site because it’s expansive. It’s strewn with ruins of massive temples and abandoned homes. To me it possesses ghosts everywhere, who continue to protect it. Selinunte was a Greek city built on the…