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message 1: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited May 26, 2020 11:33PM) (new)

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This is the thread focused on the island of Sicily.

Sicily (Italian: Sicilia [siˈtʃiːlja]; Sicilian: Sicilia [sɪˈʃiːlja]) is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions and is officially referred to as Regione Siciliana. It has 5 million inhabitants.

Sicily is located in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian Peninsula, from which it is separated by the narrow Strait of Messina. Its most prominent landmark is Mount Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe,[5] and one of the most active in the world, currently 3,329 m (10,922 ft) high. The island has a typical Mediterranean climate.

The earliest archaeological evidence of human activity on the island dates from as early as 12,000 BC.[6][7] By around 750 BC, Sicily had three Phoenician and a dozen Greek colonies and it was later the site of the Sicilian Wars and the Punic Wars. After the fall of the Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, Sicily was ruled during the Early Middle Ages by the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, the Byzantine Empire, and the Emirate of Sicily. The Norman conquest of southern Italy led to the creation of the Kingdom of Sicily, which was subsequently ruled by the Hohenstaufen, the Capetian House of Anjou, Spain, and the House of Habsburg.[8] It was unified under the House of Bourbon with the Kingdom of Naples as the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. It became part of Italy in 1860 following the Expedition of the Thousand, a revolt led by Giuseppe Garibaldi during the Italian unification, and a plebiscite. Sicily was given special status as an autonomous region on 15 May 1946, 18 days before the Italian constitutional referendum of 1946. However, much of the autonomy still remains unapplied, especially financial autonomy, because the autonomy-activating laws have been deferred to be approved by the joint committee (50% Italian State, 50% Regione Siciliana), since 1946.[citation needed][disputed – discuss]

Sicily has a rich and unique culture, especially with regard to the arts, music, literature, cuisine, and architecture. It is also home to important archaeological and ancient sites, such as the Necropolis of Pantalica, the Valley of the Temples, Erice and Selinunte.

Remainder of article:

Source: Wikipedia

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10 Reasons to Visit Sicily - Part I



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10 Reasons to Visit Sicily - Part II



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Images of Sicily



Sources: Artedigitale, Lasicilianinrete

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The Wonders of Sicily


Source: The Wonders of Sicily

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Bronze Age Sicily:


Source: Ancient History Encyclopaedia

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Sicilian Studies: A Guide and Syllabus for Educators

Sicilian Studies A Guide and Syllabus for Educators by Jacqueline Alio by Jacqueline Alio(no photo)


In the first book of its kind, two of Sicily's leading historians and lecturers outline strategies and resources available in English for professors and other instructors wishing to introduce students to the world's most conquered island.

Sicily boasts a cosmopolitan heritage, yielding lessons perfectly suited to our complex times. This guide is not only for educators. It's useful for anybody seeking sources of accurate information about Sicily, a place which over the centuries has been politically connected to Asia and Africa as well as Europe. The authors consider Sicilian Studies as a multifaceted field in itself, not merely a specialized niche within the broad field of Italian Studies.

Most of the text consists of succinct descriptions or reviews of books and (in a few cases) articles useful to those seeking to learn about Sicily.

The book includes a lengthy chapter setting forth the history of Sicily, along with numerous maps and a 3000 year timeline. This makes it very useful even for teachers who may be unfamiliar with Sicily yet interested in teaching about it.

In addition to a consideration of how to teach about Sicilian history, archeology, literature and even cuisine and the Sicilian language, this book offers candid, practical suggestions for those planning study tours or courses in Sicily. This guide is more than a blueprint. It presents a pragmatic concept of what this field can be.

This is based on experience. Over the years, the authors have advised professors on how to formulate such courses, and they have occasionally presented lectures to university students.

The point of view, as well as the advice, is impartial, unbiased, because the authors are not beholden to any specific academic publisher or institution. Never before have so many works about Sicily covering the island's lengthy history in English been described in a single volume. Chapters are dedicated to foundational principles, historiographical concepts and the history of Sicily, followed by the consideration of works on ancient, medieval and modern Sicily, special topics (women's studies, genealogy, the Mafia), the Sicilian language, the arts (art, film, literature, music), culinary topics and, finally, study tours.

At 250 pages, it is fairly concise, with no space wasted, yet highly informative.

This guide makes it possible to teach a course related to Sicily even if your institution lacks an Italian Studies department. Its publication was long overdue.

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Il territorio calatino nella Sicilia imperiale e tardoromana

Il Territorio Calatino Nella Sicilia Imperiale E Tardoromana by Elisa Bonacini by Elisa Bonacini (no photo)


This volume presents a study of human settlements in the 'Calatino' district, an area in central-eastern Sicily in the period between the Imperial and the Late Roman periods.

message 9: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited May 27, 2020 12:21AM) (new)

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The Evolution of the Grand Tour

The Evolution of the Grand Tour by Edward Chaney by Edward Chaney (no photo)


The Grand Tour has become a subject of major interest to scholars and general readers interested in exploring the historic connections between nations and their intellectual and artistic production.
Although traditionally associated with the eighteenth century, when wealthy Englishmen would complete their education on the continent, the Grand Tour is here investigated in a wider context, from the decline of the Roman Empire to recent times.

Authors from Chaucer to Erasmus came to mock the custom but even the Reformation did not stop the urge to travel. From the mid-sixteenth century, northern Europeans justified travel to the south in terms of education.

The English had previously travelled to Italy to study the classics; now they travelled to learn Italian and study medicine, diplomacy, dancing, riding, fencing, and, eventually, art and architecture.

Famous men, and an increasing proportion of women, all contributed to establishing a convention which eventually came to dominate European culture.

Documenting the lives and travels of these personalities, Professor Chaney's remarkable book provides a complete picture of one of the most fascinating phenomena in the history of western civilization

Link on google:

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Sicily Before History: An Archeological Survey from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age

Sicily Before History An Archeological Survey from the Paleolithic to the Iron Age by Robert Leighton by Robert Leighton (no photo)


Students and travelers to Sicily will welcome this inviting introduction to the archaeology of the Mediterranean's largest island. In the first English-language book on prehistoric Sicily in over forty years, Robert Leighton explores the region's rich archaeological record.

He charts the development of Sicily's early cultures from the Palaeolithic onward, concluding with an account of the indigenous society at the time of Greek and Phoenician settlement in the 8th century B.C.

Each chapter in this generously illustrated volume highlights the principal developments of a major chronological period and then addresses social and economic themes.

Among the topics discussed are settlement patterns and structures; local autonomy; external influences; cultural expression; and contacts with Italy, nearby satellite islands, and the Mycenaean world.

Informed by recent fieldwork and scholarship, this book is a necessary guide to the current state of knowledge on prehistoric Sicily.

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The Peoples of Sicily: A Multicultural Legacy

The Peoples of Sicily A Multicultural Legacy by Louis Mendola by Louis Mendola (no photo)


Can the eclectic medieval history of the world's most conquered island be a lesson for our times?

Home to Normans, Byzantines, Arabs, Germans and Jews, 12th-century Sicily was a crossroads of cultures and faiths, the epitome of diversity. Here Europe, Asia and Africa met, with magical results. Bilingualism was the norm, women's rights were defended, and the environment was protected. Literacy among Sicilians soared; it was higher during this ephemeral golden age than it was seven centuries later.

But this book is about more than Sicily. It is a singular, enduring lesson in the way multicultural diversity can be encouraged, with the result being a prosperous society. While its focus is the civilizations that flourished during the island's multicultural medieval period from 1060 to 1260, most of Sicily's complex history to the end of the Middle Ages is outlined. Idrisi is mentioned, but so is Archimedes.

Introductory background chapters begin in the Neolithic, continuing to the history of the contested island under Punics and Greeks. Every civilization that populated the island is covered, including Romans, Goths, Vandals, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Germans, Angevins, Aragonese and Jews, with profiles of important historical figures and sites. Religion, law, geography and cuisine are also considered.

The authors' narrative is interesting but never pedantic, intended for the general reader rather than the expert in anthropology, theology, art or architecture. They are not obsessed with arcane terminology, and they don't advocate a specific agenda or world view. Here two erudite scholars take their case to the people.

Yes, this book actually sets forth the entirety of ancient and medieval Sicilian history from the earliest times until around 1500, and it presents a few nuggets of the authors' groundbreaking research in medieval manuscripts. Unlike most authors who write in English about Sicily, perhaps visiting the island for brief research trips, these two are actually based in Sicily, where their work appears on a popular website. Sicily aficionados will be familiar with their writings, which have been read by some ten million during the last five years, far eclipsing the readership of any other historians who write about Sicily. Alio and Mendola are the undisputed, international "rock stars" of Sicilian historical writing, with their own devoted fan base. Every minute of the day somebody is reading their online articles.

This is a great book for anybody who is meeting Sicily for the first time, the most significant 'general' history of the island published in fifty years and certainly one of the most eloquent. It has a detailed chronology, a useful reading list, and a brief guide suggesting places to visit. The book's structure facilitates its use as a ready reference. It would have run to around 600 pages, instead of 368 (on archival-quality, acid-free paper), were it not for the slightly smaller print of the appendices, where the chronology, the longest Sicilian timeline ever published, is 20 pages long.

Unlike most histories of Sicily, the approach to this one is multifaceted and multidisciplinary. In what may be a milestone in Sicilian historiography, a section dedicated to population genetics explains how Sicily's historic diversity is reflected in its plethora of haplogroups.

Here medieval Sicily is viewed as an example of a tolerant, multicultural society and perhaps even a model. It is an unusually inspiring message. One reader was moved to tears as she read the preface.

Can a book change our view of cultures and perhaps even the way we look at history? This one just might.

Meet the peoples!

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Italy makes record mafia seizure


Source: BBC News

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Sicily Mafia restoring US links


Source: Mafia News

message 14: by Bentley, Group Founder, Leader, Chief (last edited May 27, 2020 12:34AM) (new)

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Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome

Sicily Art and Invention between Greece and Rome by Claire L. Lyons by Claire L. Lyons (no photo)


Edited by Claire L. Lyons, Michael Bennett, and Clemente Marconi

Ancient Sicily, a prosperous island at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, occupied a pivotal place between Greece, North Africa, and the Italian peninsula. In the late eighth century B.C., émigrés from the Greek mainland founded colonies along the shores of the region they knew as Sikelia, bringing with them the dialects, customs, and religious practices of their homelands. Dearest of all lands to Demeter, goddess of the harvest, Sicily grew wealthy from its agricultural abundance, and colonial settlements emerged as formidable metropolises.

Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Romeis the only English-language book that focuses on the watershed period between the victory over the Carthaginians at the Battle of Himera in 480 B.C. and the Roman conquest of Syracuse in 212B.C., a time of great social and political ferment. Intended as a sourcebook for Classical and Hellenistic Sicily, this anthology features current research by more than forty international scholars. The essays investigate Sicily not simply as a destination for adventurers and settlers, but as a catalyst that shaped Greek culture at its peak and transmitted Hellenism to Rome. In the opulent courts of the Sicilian city-states, artists, poets, and scientists attained levels of refinement and ingenuity rivaling, even surpassing, those of “old Greece.” Innovation in architecture, engineering, coinage, philosophy, and literature flourished in mixed cultural communities, which offered room for experimentation and gave birth to such influential figures as Empedokles, Theokritos, and Archimedes.

This volume accompanied the exhibition Sicily: Art and Invention between Greece and Rome, presented at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa (April 3—August 19, 2013), the Cleveland Museum of Art (September 30, 2013—January 5, 2014), and the Palazzo Ajutamicristo in Palermo (February 14—June 15, 2014).

Claire L. Lyons is head of the Department of Antiquities at the J. Paul Getty Museum and a specialist in the archaeology of Greece and pre-Roman Italy. Michael Bennett is the Cleveland Museum of Art’s first curator of Greek and Roman Art and has overseen the reinstallation of the museum’s collections of Ancient Near Eastern, Greek, Etruscan, and Roman antiquities. Clemente Marconi is James R. McCredie Professor in the History of Greek Art and Archaeology at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts. His area of specialty is archaeology of ancient Sicily.

“General narrative and analysis are profitably juxtaposed with specialized treatments of selected material, including some of the exhibition’s most dazzling items.”
—Times Literary Supplement

“With its numerous lavish color illustrations and informative, easy-to-read text, this book is quite enticing. Recommended for art history buffs, students, scholars, and armchair travelers with an interest in Greek and Roman history.”
—Library Journal

“We know that Sicily was especially wealthy during the Classical and early Hellenistic periods, as demonstrated by literary references and by the extant art, but written sources are fragmentary. Perhaps for that reason, it is often overlooked in studies of Greek art and history. . . . The various authors do an admirable job of bringing Sicily to life and making their ideas available to the English-language reader.”
—Bryn Mawr Classical Review

“A triumph of scholarship and production. . . . Essential.”

288 pages
9 1/2 x 11 inches
144 color and 23 b/w illustrations, 1 map
ISBN 978-1-60606-133-6

Getty Publications
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum

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To Noto: or London to Sicily in a Ford

TO NOTO or London to Sicily in a Ford by Duncan Fallowell by Duncan Fallowell (no photo)


Tantalised by the image of a golden city near a black lake in the deepest south of Europe, Duncan Fallowell sets off one morning from London in his Ford Capri. He weaves his way down to Provence, through Tuscany and Calabria, to the furthest tip of mafioso Sicily.

Within shimmering landscapes and citrus groves, along blue coastlines, and behind radiant, crumbling facades, lies an unsuspected world.

As Fallowell strays into it, he becomes involved with an increasingly exotic cast of characters, and paints an unforgettable portrait of the Mediterranean – comic, cultured, sexy, unpredictable, violent, humane, and timelessly superb.

To Noto was something quite new for candour and directness in travel writing when originally published in 1989. Fallowell said ‘I wanted the reader to be perched on my shoulder, as it were, as I go along,’ and so it proves. To Noto has appeared in four distinct volume editions and is now published as an ebook for the first time.

Duncan Fallowell is the author of novels, travel books, a biography of the trans-sexual April Ashley, and a collection of interview-profiles. His book How To Disappear: a memoir for misfits won the 2012 PEN Ackerley Prize.

He has also worked with the avant-garde German group Can, especially with Irmin Schmidt for whom he wrote the opera libretto Gormenghast and the lyrics to three albums of songs.

As a journalist Fallowell identified with the movement known as the New Journalism which advanced a literary form taking in interview, reportage, commentary, autobiography, history and criticism. He lives in London.

Praise for To Noto:

‘A book which takes risks: stylish, clever and spiced with amoral high spirits.’ - Colin Thubron

‘In a class of its own. A journey you will never forget.’ - William Boyd

‘Compelling, eccentric, and very funny . . . He has too an unusual gift for creating a sense of intimacy with his reader.’ - Selina Hastings, Evening Standard

‘Unique, a bizarre rake’s progress, described with insight, intelligence, wit.’ - Anthony Sattin, Sunday Times

‘One of the great travelogues of the century.’ - Professor Edward Chaney

Praise for Duncan Fallowell’s writing:

‘Brilliant and haunting.’ - Alan Hollinghurst, Guardian.

‘Mordant, energetic and outrageous.’ - Camille Paglia

‘The modern Petronius.’ - Richard Lewis, What Am I still Doing Here?

‘His prose is as good/better than anyone now writing non-fiction.’ - Susan Hill

‘An acerbic wit and wonderful prose can take you a long way . . . He writes like a spikier Sebald.’ - David Evans, The Independent.

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