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 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…

Gone Fishing

The UNESCO recognized Villa Romana del Casale at Piazza Armerina reveals not only much to us about human life in ancient Rome, but also about the abundance of wildlife in the region 1600 years ago, when it was constructed. The mosaic tile floor in the semicircular, porticoed atrium, which was designed to catch rain water,…