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,…

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…

Temple E Is Electric

Today considered Europe’s largest archeological site, Selinunte was a Greek city built on the southwestern coast of Sicily by colonists from the eastern Sicilian Greek outpost of Megara Hyblea. Founded around 651 BC, it displayed its power by building massive temples dedicated to various gods, like this one pictured, Temple E, which scholars believe was…