Writing Sicily

barca feat sicily - Writing Sicily

Sicily – The Perfect Writing Retreat

For a relatively small island, Sicily packs one hell of an artistic heft. Legions of painters, sculptors, playwrights, poets, and novelists have hailed from, been inspired by, or produced their best works on Sicily. What is it about this island that brings out such a profusion of artistic productivity and excellence? And could Sicily work its magic for you? If you’re a writer in search of the perfect location in which to knuckle down to your magnum opus – a place which will both inspire you and let you work in peace – could Sicily be the answer?

Sicilian WritersSicilian Writers

Modern audiences may be familiar with the detective novels of Andrea Camilleri, featuring the Sicilian Inspector Montalbano. These are enjoyable bestsellers worldwide, and have undergone adaptation for the screen. But the gruff detective is far from the only literary credit to Sicily’s name. Who could forget Guiseppe Tomasi Di Lampedusa’s ‘The Leopard’ – widely considered to be one of the best historical novels ever written. It charts the fortunes of the aristocratic Sicilian Salina family during the Risorgimento– and the island of Sicily itself is just as much of a central player as any of the Lampedusa’s human characters. The great Goethe also sang the praises of Sicily, stating that “To have seen Italy without seeing Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything”. Not even the peerless poet Coleridge was immune to Sicily’s charms. And let’s not forget the ancestors of modern literature, who also fell under the spell of the muse of Sicily. Ancient poets and playwrights like Aeschylus and Pindar produced their best works in Sicily. Going back even further, the myth-makers who launched Ancient Greek culture chose Sicily for the setting of a pivotal myth – that of the abduction of Persephone. Clearly this is an island which exerts a considerable pull over the poets and storytellers of the world.

Inspirational Sicily

Inspirational Sicily

All writers are different, so it would be wrong to make any generalisations as to why, precisely, Sicily appears to bring out the muse in so many. Some writers like peace and quiet in which to work, while others find isolation with a blank page intimidating and would rather have a little hubbub in the background! Some write as a form of therapy, while others do it to entertain themselves and others. Some write with political purpose, others through a spirit of sheer whimsy. No two writers are the same, so it can’t be stated with any certainty that what has worked for great writers in the past will work for you. However, having said this, Sicily does present a few general advantages for writers. For a start, it’s incredibly beautiful. Since the dawn of human civilization, writers and artists have drawn inspiration from natural beauty, and many modern writers are no exception. Modern science is now backing up this empirical knowledge through studies which appear to prove that spending time in beautiful, natural surroundings really can boost the brain’s creative powers. Sicily is, of course, hardly short of stunning natural landscapes. The congenial climate of Sicily may also help the budding writer. It’s arguably easier to concentrate if your body feels relaxed and happy than it is if your brain is distracted by things like cold and so forth then it’s more difficult to knuckle down to the business of writing.

Creative Culture

Then, of course, there is the cultural factor. Just being surrounded by the ancient and invigorating culture and history of Sicily can be an enormous inspiration. A writer needs certain raw materials to work with, and Sicily supplies these in spades. This is an island of intrigue, romance, tragedy, and comedy. It’s an island of incredible stories, which cannot fail to inspire. Not to mention the fact that today’s writers heading to Sicily will doubtless be aware of the great footsteps they’re treading in. The cultural ghosts of writers past may well draw on new generations to great literary feats. As such, Sicily’s artistic past feeds and perpetuates its future. If you are looking for the perfect location in which to find inspiration or get to work on your creation, Sicily could well be what you’re looking for.

Dive in and explore

Dive in and explore

The BP exhibition Sunken cities: Egypt’s lost worlds opens on 19 May. Featuring stunning objects that have been submerged under the sea for a thousand years, it will showcase the rich interaction between ancient Egypt and the Greek world. It’s likely to be very popular, so make sure you book in advance! This month, you can also explore the fascinating history of the Mediterranean’s largest island in our Sicily exhibition, on until 14 August. May is also your last chance to see smaller exhibitions and displays on shoes from the Islamic world, British hoards and the Pacific god A’a

Sicily

Sicily culture and conquest

Sicily
culture and conquest

Until 14 August 2016

‘historically illuminating and visually stunning’
★★★★ The Times

★★★★ The Guardian

★★★★ The Telegraph

The largest island in the Mediterranean, Sicily has been shaped by waves of conquest and settlement over 4,000 years.

This new special exhibition tells Sicily’s fascinating stories – from the arrival of the ancient Greeks, to the extraordinary period of enlightenment under Norman rule.

Discover a cosmopolitan island where the unique mix of peoples gave rise to an extraordinary cultural flowering. The art and objects they produced are some of the most beautiful and important in the history of the Mediterranean.

Watch the trailer ›

Book now ›

#SicilyExhibition

Images logo bw - Sicily

Images sicily - Sicily

Sicily Exhibition

Sicily Exhibition

Sicily: culture and conquest – Exhibition at the British Museum

21 April – 14 August 2016

Sicily: culture and conquest - Exhibition at the British MuseumThe largest island in the Mediterranean, home of Mount Etna, a cultural centre of the ancient and medieval world.

This exhibition tells Sicily’s fascinating stories – from the arrival of the Greeks and their encounters with the Phoenicians and other settlers, to the extraordinary period of enlightenment under Norman rule in the 11th to 13th centuries.

For much of its history, Sicily was admired and envied for its wealth, cultural patronage and architecture. In the exhibition, ancient Greek sculpture, architectural decorations from temples, churches and palaces, early coinage, stunning gold jewellery, and Norman mosaics and textiles demonstrate Sicily’s diversity, prosperity and significance over hundreds of years.

Come behind the scenes and meet curators Peter Higgs and Dirk Booms as they reveal some of the fascinating stories behind the Greek and Norman objects in our special exhibition Sicily: culture and conquest.

Book now  Booking fee: £1.00 per ticket

Olive Oil Biancolilla

Olive Oil from Sicily

Ventimiglia it is not only a country, is also the name of the Barons who a lot lustro have given to the history of our island since the 1232 when Enrico Ventimiglia, come down in Sicily in order to marry Elisabetta, daughter of Adoini, Longobardo knight.

Direct descendant of Enrico, Donna was just one Beatrice Ventimiglia of the Caretto, than in the 1627, authorized from Filippo II, king of Spain, popol? the ancient one feudo of Calamigna and imposed to those lands the name of Ventimiglia. This laughing city that tos be distant approximately 20 km from the sea is encircled from sweet and generous hills on which they come cultivated from centuries the ulivi of the variety, ” Biancolilla “. The Company Agrobiologica Manzella and been born Iannello and with the same foundation of Ventimiglia; a grandfather of the Manzella family, had entrusted one contrada overhanging the old village directly from Donna Beatrice with the task to develop just the culture of the ulivo. It was far away the 1633, and from then the Company he has increased itself to others contrade until catching up odierna the extension of 50 hectares. Cultivar the dominant is exactly the ” Biancolilla “, to which a 10% approximately of ” Nocellara of the Belice ” join. The collection of the olives happens directly from the plant for ” sfilatura by hand ” and it is carried out for all the month of November when the color of the olives passes from the green the black one. The fruits, collected to the mattino come moliti in same evening in the frantoio of the Company in such way to transmit their “freschezza” to the oil that they will produce. Oil that comes bottled integrally leaving unchanged all its characteristics cosi. Low temperature, soft pressure and absolute hygiene make the rest giving life to an oil with all the attributes from ” supremacy of the quality “. Its opaque green color with golden venature is born from the choice of the olives that collections at the just moment gives a extremely delicate oil, with excellent aromatic notes that ne exalt the scent and the sapore. Adapted to all the kitchen uses you will be able to appreciate to the best its pregi also gustandolo ” raw ” on the still warm bread. The Company Agricola Manzella and Iannello produces, moreover, extra oil vergine of olive, coming from from the own olive groves to biological cultivation controlled and certifyd from the CODEX limited liability company, on authorization of the Ministry of the Agricultural Resources and from the Coordination Sicialian Biological Agriculture on the base of disciplining of associative production and with cycle of working and suitable qualitative controls for the biological production. The production from the ‘ 97 to new evidence of a continuous optimization of the product comes carried out in totally biological way. The Company comes continuation from the Councillorship Agriculture and forestry, detachment of Mezzojuso (Palermo).

Taormina, most celebrated tourist resort in Sicily

taormina teatro - Taormina, most celebrated tourist resort in Sicily

Modern Taormina is a refined centre built on Monte Tauro and sits snugly between rocky slopes and the smooth Ionian Sea, not forgetting the lush beaches of Mazzarò, Lido Spisone and Mazzeo. Taormina can claim to be the most celebrated tourist resort in the whole of Sicily. It first attracted travelers in the 18th century by offering accommodation following the suppression of the religious guilds in 1866. But its name really took off in 1868 when Prussian Baron Ottone Geleng was inspired by Goethe to see this corner of Italy for himself. The Baron spent his time painting and his work was soon exhibited in Paris. Taormina then became a magnet for Europe’s elite. Another stroke of good fortune was an outbreak of cholera in Palermo which encouraged the nobility of the city to take refuge in 1875. The sumptuous villas are a result of this period. Read more>>

Isola Bella in front of Taormina, Sicily

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Trapani, most strategic spot in the west of Sicily

Accommodation in Trapani, Sicily

Trapani is getting more and more attention as a low budget holiday destination and as a starting point for a tour around Sicily. This is mainly because Ryanair offers cheap flights from different parts in Europe. A beautiful historic centre, gateway to the Egadi Islands and having hosted the 8th and 9th acts of the Louis Vuitton Cup, part of the Americas Cup, made Trapani become famous in recent times. The nearby island of Pantelleria, and the Aegadian Islands are also administratively a part of Trapani province. The province of Trapani alone produces more wine than the entire regions of Tuscany or Piedmont or such nations as Hungary, Austria or Chile. Find more about Trapani here>>

Sicily News from Trapani

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At the foot of Mount Etna – Catania

At the foot of Mount Etna - Catania

Catania is the second largest city of Sicily and is the capital of the province which bears its name. With some 350,000 inhabitants (750,000 in the metropolitan area) it has the second highest population density on the island. The city’s patron saint is Saint Agatha. Catania is located on the east coast of the island, half way between Messina and Siracusa and is at the foot of the active volcano Mount Etna. It was founded in the 8th century BC by Greek colonizers from Chalcis in Euboea led by Euarchos.  It was extensively destroyed by earthquakes in 1169 and 1693 and by lava flows which ran over and around it into the sea. The first Sicilian university was founded there in 1434.

At the foot of Mount Etna - Catania

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Palermo, Capital of Sicily

GdS - Edizione di Palermo

Palermo is the principal city and administrative seat of the autonomous region of Sicily, Italy as well as the capital of the Province of Palermo. Inhabitants of Palermo in Italian are referred to as Palermitani or poetically Panormiti. Palermo was founded in the 8th century BC by Phoenician tradesmen around a natural harbor on the north-western coast of Sicily. The Phoenician name for the city may have been Zîz, but Greeks called it Panormus, meaning all-port, because of its fine natural harbor. It should be noted however that the city was never a Greek city-state, but was later part of the Greek speaking Eastern Roman Empire. Palermo is widely considered to be the most conquered city in the world. read more>>

Giornale di Sicilia

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Palermo

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Siracusa – Beautiful with Sadness

Ortigia in Siracusa, Sicily

Siracusa, SicilyMaybe for my knowledge about Siracusa, a small town, I learn in advance, I notice a gentle and cultivated feeling when I step onto the old city area of Ortiga Island.

This small town, with a population of less than thirty thousand, is located in the southeast of Sicily in Italy. It is divided into two parts of which the old part is on Ortiga Island and the other part is in the peninsula area. Ortiga Island has appealing history and myths although it is small like a sparrow. I wonder where my gentle and cultivated feeling about the town comes from. I walk along the east coast of the matronly Ortiga Island. In the road junction, it is the “Archimedes Street” when turn right.

GdS - Edizione di Siracusa

Over two thousand years ago, Siracusa, as one of city-states of the ancient Greece, was determined to replace Greece which was a culture city then. As a matter of fact, not only did it defeat Greece in military affairs, but also it applied itself to build an elegant society. As a result, you can hear some stories here about Plato and so on. The native-born Archimedes ran in the street, naked and shouting out with “Eureka”, after he found the physics law. As time flies, the street pattern today is so different from that of the age-old Greece.

Going ahead to the south, I want to visit a beautiful and sad legend. The Aretusa spring and the green and lush pond are by the blue Mediterranean Sea. The fairy of Aretusa in the legend is a maid who serves the hunt goddess of Artemis. She is loved by Achelous strongly. Aretusa flees to Ortiga and requests Artemission to turn her into this pond in order to dodge the Achelous. The Achelous is unwilling to give up and changes the course of the river and immit the pond from the underground. From then on, they two are with each other.

After saying goodbye to Aretusa, I turn in an alleyway for the first time and go towards the Piazza Duomo. The most important Catholic Church of Ortiga and a museum are on the piazza. The vision before me reminds me of a woman–Monica Bellucci who becomes well known for the film <<Malena>>. This film is shot on the Piazza. The film director shows people the life rhythm of this Piazza by fluent switches of camera lens. Also, the beautiful and sad legends are connected by this film. For more information about traveling; please have a look at [http://www.affordable-cruises-tours.com].

Un Gran Bel…Vedere a Siracusa

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