Sunday, 7 December 2014

Cefalù beach

Sicily

Cefalù beach.

Links
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Monday, 24 November 2014

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden - eccentric photographer living in Taormina

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden (1856 – 1931) was a groundbreaking, eccentric photographer who lived in Taormina. While today von Gloeden is mainly known for his nudes (especially young males photographed with a homoerotic flavour), in his lifetime he was also famous for his landscape photography that helped popularize tourism to Italy.

Baron Wilhelm von Gloeden: boy, Taormina

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Sicilian lizard catching an insect

Sicily

Lizard catching an insect as I watch. Cute creatures, these lizards!
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Agricultural products introduced in Sicily by the Saracens (Arabs)

The Saracens introduced a variety of agricultural products superior to any they found on Sicily or elsewhere in Europe:
  • an olive tree (still called la saracena) which gives a richer, heavier oil than the Greek olive
  • the lemon tree
  • the orange tree
  • the mulberry tree
  • the silk worm
  • the date
  • the pistachio
  • the carob
  • and the fig
  • cotton
  • sugar cane
  • zibibbo grape

Links
Return to Wondersofsicily.net (the blog)
Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Cathedral in Cefalù (Duomo Basilica Cattedrale)

Norman cathedral in Cefalù, Sicily

Dramatically situated in front of the mountain Rocca di Cefalù, the Cathedral in Cefalù (Duomo Basilica Cattedrale) is one of Sicily's most important buildings from the Norman domination of the island.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Cappella Palatina, Palermo


Cappella Palatina (detail of the interior), Palermo.

Links
Return to Wondersofsicily.net (the blog)
Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Sicilian lizard catching an insect


Sicily

Lizard catching an insect as I watch.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Links
Return to Wondersofsicily.net (the blog)
Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Seminario vescovile di Cefalù, Sicily


Sicily

Seminario vescovile di Cefalù on the piazza below the cathedral. Building from the 16th Century.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Lizards in Sicily

lizard, Sicily

A Sicilian lizard, living in Taormina.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily


lizard

A Sicilian lizard, living near the Greek theatre in Syracuse.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Cathedral in Syracuse

The facade of the Cathedral in Syracuse

The facade of the Cathedral in Syracuse, a powerful Sicilian-Baroque composition erected in 1728-54. It was designed by Andrea Palma.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily



Links
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Thursday, 23 October 2014

The Norman Rulers in Sicily

  • Roger I (c. 1031–1101 Mileto), also known as Great Count Roger I, Roger Bosso, The Great Count. Italian: Ruggero I di Sicilia.
  • Roger II (1095–1154)
    Rogerios Rex (inscription in mosaic, Martorana, Palermo)
  • Simon of Hauteville (1093–1105), also known as Simon de Hauteville (in French) and Simone D'Altavilla (in Italian). He was the eldest son and successor of Roger I, count of Sicily, and Adelaide del Vasto.
  • William I (1131–1166), also known as William the Bad or the Wicked
  • William II (1155–1189), also known as William the Good
The Normans landed in Sicily as mercenaries in 1061. In 1194 Sicily fell into the hands of the Germanic Hohenstaufen dynasty.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Our Facebook page has passed 1000 likes!



Wonders of Sicily's Facebook page has passed 1000 likes! Join us and share your pictures or stories from Sicily!

On Wondersofsicily.com, you will find lots of pictures from Sicily, as well as background information.

Friday, 17 October 2014

The Normans in South Italy

 999–1017 Arrival of the Normans in Italy
1009–1022 Lombard revolt
1022–1046 Mercenary service
1046–1059 County of Melfi
1049–1098 County of Aversa
1053–1105 Conquest of the Abruzzo
1061–1091 Conquest of Sicily
1073–1077 Conquest of Amalfi and Salerno
1059–1085 Byzantine-Norman wars
1077–1139 Conquest of Naples
1194 Sicily falls into the hands of the Germanic Hohenstaufen dynasty


Links
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Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Ant on Isola Bella, Sicily



Ant captured and eaten by a spider on a cactus. The photo was taken on the beautiful little island Isola Bella near Taormina.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Monday, 13 October 2014

Francesco Tenuta Bevelacqua

Cefalù

Cefalù certainly was a beautiful city even in the mid 1800's. Here a detail of a painting hanging in the Museo Mandralisca in Cefalù. It was painted by Francesco Tenuta Bevelacqua (1814-1858).
The jewel of the collection is however a painting by Antonello da Messina: Portrait of an unknown man (1465)
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily


Links
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Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

La Rocca di Cefalù

La Rocca, Cefalù

La Rocca di Cefalù: The mountain forms a dramatic and spectacular backdrop to the little town Cefalù on the north coast of Sicily.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily

Norman Monuments in Sicily (selection)

  • Castelvetrano
    The little 12th Century church of ther SS. Trinità di Delia is, according to John Julius Norwich "the perfect fusion of Arab and Byzantine. [Link to the church on Google Maps]
  • Cefalù Cathedral
    "Though much of the inside is now distressingly baroque, the outside is exquisite and the great apse mosaic the most sublime masterpiece Sicily has to offer."
  • Forza d'Agrò
    The Basilian church SS. Pietro e Paolo is situated a few kilometres outside Forza d'Agrò. The inscription over the west door dates it to 1171-72. The church was built in the 560, then it was destroyed by the Arabs and it was rebuilt in the 1117. The church was restored by the architect Gherardo il Franco in the 1172 because of an earthquake.
  • Monreale
    Cathedral and cloister
    Castellaccio (12th Century) on the summit of Monte Caputo
  • Palermo
    The Palatine Chapel (In the Royal Palace, also known as the Norman Palace)
    Sala di Ruggero (In the Royal Palace)
    S. Maria dell' Ammariglio (the Martorana)
    S. Giovanni degli Eremiti
    S. Spirito (the church known for the Sicilian Vespers in 1282)
    The Royal tombs of Roger II, Henry VI, Constance and Frederick II (in the Palermo Cathedral / Duomo)
Source: John Julius Norwich: The Normans in Sicily: The Magnificent Story of "the other Norman Conquest"


Links
Return to Wondersofsicily.net (the blog)
Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Cactus in Sicily


Cactus in Sicily

Cactus in Sicily.
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

La chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia, Syracuse (Siracusa)



The church of Santa Lucia alla Badia (La chiesa di Santa Lucia alla Badia) is situated on the Piazza Duomo in Syracuse. The Bavarian-baroque facade from 1695 is made of Luciano Caracciolo. Inside the church there is a very famous painting by Caravaggio (St. Lucia's funeral).
Photo: Per-Erik Skramstad / Wonders of Sicily


Links
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Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Monday, 29 September 2014

Geographical names in Sicily

Sicily's history is reflected in the various names of the cities. Here is a selection of geographical names in Italian, Sicilian, English, Latin and Greek
  • Agrigento (Sicilian: Girgenti, Ancient Greek: Akragas (Ἀκράγας), Latin: Agrigentum, Arabic: Kirkent or Jirjent)
  • Agrigentum, Latin for Agrigento
  • Akragas (Ἀκράγας), Ancient Greek for Agrigento
  • Baarìa, Sicilian for Bagheria (also the title of a film by Giuseppe Tornatore)
  • Balarm, Arabic for Palermo
  • Castrogiovanni (until 1926 Enna was known as Castrogiovanni)
  • Castrugiuvanni, Sicilian for Enna
  • Cefalù (Sicilian: Cifalù, Greek: Κεφαλοίδιον, Diod., Strabo, or Κεφαλοιδὶς, Ptol.; Latin: Cephaloedium, or Cephaloedis)
  • Cephaloedium or Cephaloedis, Latin for Cefalù
  • Cifalù, Sicilian for Cefalù
  • Enna (Sicilian: Castrugiuvanni; Greek: Ἔννα; Latin: Henna and less frequently Haenna). Until 1926 the town was known as Castrogiovanni.
  • Girgenti, Sicilian for Agrigento
  • Henna / Haenna, Latin for Enna
  • Hyspicae Fundus, Latin for Ispica
  • Ispica (Sicilian: Spaccafurnu, Latin: Hyspicae Fundus)
  • Jirjent, Arabic for Agrigento (also: Kirkent)
  • Kefaloidion or Kefaloidis (Κεφαλοίδιον / Κεφαλοιδὶς), Greek for Cefalù
  • Kirkent, Arabic for Agrigento (also: Jirjent)
  • Noto (Sicilian: Notu; Latin: Netum)
  • Notu, Sicilian for Notu
  • Netum, Latin for Noto
  • Palermo (Sicilian: Palermu, Latin: Panormus, from Greek: Πάνορμος, Panormos, Arabic: Balarm, Phoenician: Ziz)
  • Palermu, Sicilian for Palermo
  • Panormos (Πάνορμος), Greek for Palermo
  • Panormus, Latin for Palermo (from Greek: Πάνορμος, Panormos)
  • Sarausa, Sicilian for Siracusa
  • Siracusa (English: Syracuse, Latin: Syracusæ, Ancient Greek: Syrakousai (Συράκουσαι), Medieval Greek: Συρακοῦσαι, Sicilian: Sarausa)
  • Spaccafurnu, Sicilian for Ispica
  • Syracuse, English for Siracusa
  • Syracusæ, Latin for Siracusa
  • Syrakousai (Συράκουσαι), Ancient Greek for Siracusa
  • Syrakousai (Συρακοῦσαι), Medieval Greek for Siracusa
  • Taormina (Sicilian: Taurmina, Greek: Ταυρομένιον Tauromenion, Latin: Tauromenium)
  • Taurmina, Sicilian for Taormina
  • Tauromenion (Ταυρομένιον), Greek for Taormina
  • Tauromenium, Latin for Taormina
  • Ziz, Phoenician for Palermo


Links
Return to Wondersofsicily.net (the blog)
Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Woods in Sicily

Sicily once full of trees? Actually yes. It is hard to believe for anyone having visited Sicily that the island once was well wooded, even throughout the Middle Ages. Sicily was the most wooded area of Magna Graecia (the coastal areas of Southern Italy on the Tarentine Gulf that were extensively colonized by Greek settlers). It it not clear when the forests disappeared, but by the 17th century, there was not enough timber for local consumption.


Links
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Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

The Baroque Architecture of Sicily (Maria Giuffre and Melo Minnella)

I just received  "The Baroque Architecture of Sicily" by Maria Giuffre and with magnificent photos by Melo Minnella. Have I ever been more impressed by a book? I don't think so. The marvels of Sicilian Baroque—the dramatic power of its architecture and the emotional power of its decorative art - are well known. Numerous studies, most of them in Italian, have been made, ranging from a focus on the major Sicilian towns or on architectural themes like churches and villas to an examination of its chronology, but none of these gives a comprehensive view.

This book looks at the subject from a difference perspective, defining what makes the Baroque of Sicily distinctive. How does it differ from the Baroque in other countries and in other Italian regions, such as Rome and Piedmont? How was it possible to impose that particular character upon churches and palaces, sculpture and painting? What was the role of cities such as Palermo and Catania, and smaller towns like Noto? To what extent did it absorb styles from abroad?

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Beautiful Sicilian Woman


The women in Sicily are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Here's one we found in Museo Mandralisca, Cefalù.



Links
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Wondersofsicily.com (the web site)