The Island of Splendor

Most beautiful island in the world

History, Art, Architecture, Gastronomy

The photos were taken over a period of years on multiple visits to the island. Sicily it still an amazing destination; its history, art, architecture, and gastronomy are layered on a tapestry of many civilizations from the early Sicanians to the late Bourbons, each one leaving indelible marks that are still visible today, yet the island remains so livable, even in contemporary times.
The cultural richness of the island is unsurpassed, and this richness is also reflected in its unique culinary traditions. Its wines, used for years as the base for the world’s most expensive Barolos, Chiantis, and Bordeaux, are quickly and quietly reaching the top levels for quality and price in their own right.
Sicily is among my favorite Italian regions, and I would never miss a chance to travel there. Whether you visit the eastern side or the western side, you will find this island so amazing that you will not want to leave.

The still standing remains of a temple on the western side of Selinunte archeological park, along the southwest coast, glowing in a golden sunset, built in approximately 628 BCE by a group of Greek settlers, near the mouth of the river of the same name…

…the temple of Hera (Selinunte) the best preserved of the archeological park (eastside)…

..…The Norman Palace in Palermo was the seat of the King of Sicily during the Norman domination. The original foundation of an Arab palace built in the 9th century by the Arab Emir of Palermo is still visible in the basement of the palace….

…Inside the Norman Palace you can admire the Palatine Chapel, with its rare mosaics unsurpassed for the quality and refinement of their execution, resulting from the most amazing mix of civilizations and art forms, by far the best example of Arab-Norman-Byzantine style that prevailed in the 12th century in Sicily….

…“Terremoto del Belice,” as it is known, refers to the earthquake that between January 14-15, 1968, with three shocks, the strongest reaching a magnitude of 5.5 of the Richter scale, leveled one of the oldest and most beautiful villages in Sicily: Gibellina. There were more than 400 casualties, 1000 people injured, and an estimated 100,000 people left homeless Gibellina was abandoned and the inhabitants, several years later, were relocated in “Nuova Gibellina,” about 18 km from the old town….

…In the 1980s, Alberto Burri, an artist born in the small Umbrian town of Cittá di Castello, created Europe’s largest land art project on the site of the destroyed Gibellina. The work entitled the “Grande Cretto.” (a concrete cemetery) covers most of the old town, an area roughly 300 meters by 400 meters, with white concrete preserving the shape of the buildings and streets…

…The beautiful ornate rose window of Chiesa Madre, the main church in Erice, a city founded by the Elymians, the first inhabitants of the island…

….Syracuse Greek-Roman theater, called “cavea” by the Romans, was the largest ever built by the Greeks. It has 67 rows divided into nine sections with eight aisles that could contain more than 15,000 spectators…

…Sicily offers splendid architecture; the Monreale Duomo cloister represents a beautiful example of Arab-Norman style…

…The mosaics of Villa Romana del Casale, a Roman-era villa discovered in the early 19th Century, contains the largest and most complex collection of Roman mosaics in the world…

…Donnafugata Castle, located about 20 km from Ragusa Ibla. The name of Donnafugata, of Arabic origins, can be misleading. It is a free interpretation of the Ayn as Jafat, which means Fountain of Health, that in Sicilian dialect is pronounced Ronnafuata. The name was then changed to a more modern form as Donnafugata.…

…quaint fishing villages like Castellamare del Golfo…

…ancient towns like Ragusa Ibla…

…or jet-set summer resorts like Taormina…

…and ski areas like the Mount Etna volcano…

…archeological sites such as Agrigento and its Valley of Temples…

..or exquisite and refined cuisine both savory and sweet…

..and outstanding quality wines.

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