One Ostrich, Two Ostrich

The corridor of the Ambulatory of the Big Game Hunt at the Roman Villa del Casale in Piazza Armerina has been called a “map of the world,” by some scholars. Capped by two floor lunettes on either side, one representing Mauritania, a country in Africa, and the other India, the extraordinary mosaic scenes along the…

Connect Through Travel

Connect through the emotions of Campania and Sicily next summer! Join me, Allison Scola of Experience Sicily, and Danielle Oteri of Feast on History for a multigenerational tour exploring art, myth, culture, and food, June 29-July 8, 2018. Ladies from Pompeii (pictured left) will intrigue you and your granddaughter, while kings from Arab-Norman Palermo (pictured…

The Headless Roman 

This torso is part of an exhibition at Valley of the Temples in Agrigento. It displays findings from an archaeological excavation of the Roman forum that was conducted between 2012 and 2014. Now, imagine that you spent a lot of time and money creating this statue of the current governor or prefect. Then imagine that…

Sicily’s Modest Venus

Found in the Acradina quarter of Siracusa in 1804, the Venus Landolina is named for the archeologist, Saverio Landolina (1743-1814), who discovered the statue. Made from Greek marble in the 2nd century AD, the Roman era work is a copy of a Greek era work from the 2nd century BC. Because it is an unclothed…

Siracusa’s Roman Coliseum

Apparently, the Spanish weren’t into preservation of ruins. They did, however, recycle and reclaim, which is why not much is left of Siracusa’s ancient Roman Amphitheater (The Spanish took the stone to create buildings and walls elsewhere.). Just like in the world-famous Coliseum in Rome, this first-century BC arena hosted circuses, horse races, gladiator battles,…

Ancient Evidence of the Bikini: Enchanting Sicily, Day 5

The expansive ancient Roman estate of the Villa del Casale outside of Piazza Armerina was constructed between the 3rd and 4th centuries AD. This scene of women athletes in the estate’s gymnasium is evidence that bikinis have existed for, well, a very long time! Known affectionately as “The Bikini Girls,” they, along with hundreds of…