‘Tis His Season

The current grape harvest season makes me think of Dionysus (The Romans called the God of wine Bacchus.). This is a terracotta bowl fragment featuring a relief of Dionysus, god of wine, vegetation, theater, and ecstasy, from Morgantina, an ancient Greek town in Sicily (3rd to 1st century B.C.E.).

Ortigia’s Ancient Temples

One could argue that the Parco Archeologico della Neapolis in Siracusa (The archaeological park dedicated to the “New City” in Syracuse) often steels the thunder from the ancient ruins travelers can find in the “old city,” or Ortigia, pictured. Ortigia, the ancient island center of Siracusa, has been occupied by modern civilizations since the 8th…

Ephesus Is Closer Than You Think

Artemis, the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, wilderness, childbirth, virginity and the moon, was represented differently according to the locality of her cult. This terracotta statuette from the 4th century B.C.E., was found in the Acradina quarter of Siracusa in 1967; however, its representation of the divinity is more akin to the Ephesian Artemis…

Dress Like A Goddess

These terracotta figurines from the 3rd and 4th centuries B.C.E. are goddesses. Scholars know they are deities because they are wearing a polos. A polos is a headdress that collects the woman’s hair into a column of sorts, which prompts her hair upward and then to cascade from the top. Images of mortal women from…

Calatafimi Segesta Festival

The 50th Anniversary of the Calatafimi Segesta Festival “Dionisiache” is happening now through September 3. This breathtaking 3rd century B.C. amphitheater on top of Monte Bàrbaro is hosting everything from ancient Greek works like Antigone and new plays such as Shakespeare in Brexit to symphony concerts and jazz. Just add cushions and it’s showtime!

Here is Where You Heard 

After saying, “Arrivederci!” to our wonderful guests from the last week, I drove to Siracusa to meet my cousin and business partner Evelina and her close friends. This evening, we attended “Le Rane,” or “The Frogs,” a comedy by Aristophanes, written in 405 BCE. The ancient theater was full. Joyful theater goers, seemingly all Italian,…

Play On The Beach 

On Friday, June 23, as part of the “Le Forme di Telesis,” or The Shapes of Telesis, arts festival, “The Trojan Women” by Euripedes will be presented in the Parco Archeologico di Selinunte e Cave di Cusa in Castelvetrano. The interpretation, which will emphasize the plight of women immigrants, will be performed on the beach…

Demeter’s Joy: Summer 

Happy Summer! I present to you the magnificent Goddess of Morgantina, in celebration of the solstice. Scholars don’t know if she represents Aphrodite, Demeter, Persephone, or Hera. But her size (2.20-2.25 meters high), indicates that it was certainly a mystery cult statue of great importance. Personally, I believe that she is Persephone because her right…

The Phoenician Women in Siracusa 

This weekend Experience Sicily’s Evelina Buttitta has made her annual pilgrimage to Siracusa to see classic theater in the Teatro Antico of the city’s archaeological park. Evelina took this photo featuring the production of Euripides’ “The Phoenician Women.” For just a few short weeks annually in May and June, you can experience ancient Greek theater…