The Light Of The World In Cefalù Cathedral

Santissimo Salvatore della Trasfigurazione (also known as Christ Pantocrator) anchors the apse of the UNESCO recognized cathedral, or duomo, of Cefalù. Boasting a remarkable Byzantine-style mosaic of Christ Pantocrator (pictured), the cathedral was commissioned in 1131 by the visionary Norman King Roger II after his ship found refuge on this spot during a harrowing storm….

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,…

A Curated Experience

Yesterday in Palermo, our guide Jacqueline explained in depth the politics of Norman king Roger II (pictured here, being crowned by Jesus in the Martorana Church), and then applied the discourse to what is happening in Italy today. The inspired discussion at dinner last night proved why I can’t emphasize enough the importance of working…

Even The Floor Is Dazzling

If the 68,000 square feet of mosaic tiles on the walls of Monreale Cathedral don’t mesmerize you, perhaps the floor-designs will! Created by Byzantine-Arab-Norman craftsmen in the late 12th century, William II’s temple offers endless inspiration. The red stone is called red porphyry. The ancient emperors associated it with power during the Roman Empire. It…

Romans and Elephants

Scholars think this elephant is pretty cool. Reason being is that it shows the elephant moving between two ships; in other words, the moving of African animals by Romans to Rome for gladiatorial games, through Sicily. We know this because this image, which we’ll see on Day 5 of our May 2018 Myths & Mysteries…