This large Roman Villa was built in the 4th century A.D. as the hunting lodge of a Roman patrician. Due to a natural disaster the Villa was buried and during the 1800’s unearthed to reveal the best preserved mosaics of the late Imperial era. It is a monument to the late Roman Empire with the mosaics providing esthetic as well as historical value.
Little is known of the Villa’s history. Sicily was known as the breadbasket to the Roman Empire providing wheat and other crops to feed the mainland population. It is hypothesized that the owner of the Villa was a representative of Rome who was in charge of monitoring the Sicilian farms.
Some geometric flooring designs..
The most celebrated of the mosaics. These bathing suited women are thought to be representative of those participating in Empire or Olympic games.
Another fascinating Sicilian visit…. According to our tour guide Sicily is the #1 destination in 2022 for his travel company.
What a breathtaking spot! This is a place where movie stars and celebrities hang. In fact the week before Sting celebrated his 70th birthday performing a concert at the massive Greek Theater in the City. Churches, restaurants, and designer shops adorn the streets. But, oh, that view..
Taormina sits on the top of a mountain. The road is perilous and to travel in to the City one must take a bus and be dropped off at the main gate of the City. There are two city gates and I walked the pedestrian road between the gates then back tracked . It gave me a true feel for the area so I could allocate my time.
Retail – all the designers have shops in the City, however there are souvenir shops as well.
Restaurants and cafes with tasty fares are available for those with fast food or romance in mind.
The hotel where Sting stayed at the entrance to the Greek Theater.
The Greek Theater
View from the seats..
As a quiet respite I sought out the City Gardens. Lovely and again – the views – magnificent.
A must see.
Caveat: Having troubles inserting pictures on the site. Bill Gates put out an upgrade and unable to find where these pictures are disappearing to.
Guess the upgrade was his birthday present to us all..
Rising at 11,000 feet this volcano was the height, (pardon my pun), of my Sicilian visit. The top of the volcano area is totally black with fertile volcanic soil. Further down the Mount this soil provides abundant lemon tree crops, (3 to 4 crops per year), and delicious wines from the grapes produced from this soil. Etna was an under water occurrence born a half million years ago. An island, Sicily, was developed from these eruptions. Thus far in 2021, 51 eruptions have occurred. Staying in a nearby hotel dogs were often heard howling. They howl as the seismic noise affect them, and have become barometers to the volcano’s activity.
2002 was the last eruption and the community at Etna’s foot have developed methods to avert the volcanic flow using dynamite. Currently there are 4 active top craters with the side crater being monitored for activity. The soil is a magnesium silicate and other acidic minerals providing much nutrition for plants. Brought several bags home for my plants and results are pending.
When visiting stop at the roadside vendors on the top of the Mount. Their jams, jellies, honey, pistachios, and hazelnuts are known worldwide.
In 1987 the Mount Etna National Park was created. This is the only roadway up the mountain. Note the dark soil.
There are several altars to the Blessed Virgin on the Mount. One of the shops had lava flow stream around their gift shop with no damage to the shop.
. There is a very special tribute to Mary at this spot.
And don’t forget to stop and purchase some delicacies. There are many which are TSA compliant. Watch the traffic on the Mount as many buses and cars abound. This vendor saved an awe struck tourist who was almost struck – Me…
Visited the Siracusa Architectural Park, and what a find. Siracusa was the largest city in the world in 689 B.C. With its fertile soil and harbor it was known as a paradise. Half a million people lived here during this time with 150,000 citizens having voting rights. Its Greek and Roman Theaters were places where men, (as women were not allowed), came to learn from the comedies, tragedies, and political fares which were performed.
Quarries were present with caves, however few caves remain due to earthquakes. And at the time of visit Harrison Ford was filming an Indiana Jones movie which precluded our visit to these areas due to filming. All that said let’s talk a walk through the Park.
This town boasts the largest and best preserved temple ruins outside of mainland Greece according to our tour information.
Modern Sculptures are among the ruins and add to their majesty.
The eight Greek temples in the archaeological park were built between 430 and 510 B.C. on rocky mounts. It is a wonder to visit. Wish I had more to report however tour guides can sometimes have challenging accents, and a picture is worth a thousand words.
A tribute to those who served.
Statutes in perfect conditions except for one missing piece.