Above: Caves created by ancient Greek quarries, including the notorious Ear of Dionysius, line a bluff in the Archaeological Park of Neapolis
Long ago, Siracusa became an important outpost of the Grecian Empire. For strategic reasons, the ancient city first developed on the small island of Ortigia.
A major vestige of this are the ruins of the Temple of Apollo in the heart of the city adjacent to the island’s bustling outdoor market. Forty-two monolithic columns once framed the sixth-century-BC Doric temple dedicated to the sun god. These remnants of the temple incorporated into several private homes and 16th-century military barracks occupying the site were “rediscovered” in the 1890s.
Continue reading “Postcard from Siracusa, Sicily: Where Plato tested and failed tyrant-taming” →
Normally, I fail to designate states in my headlines and opt for the country alone. Poor identification in geo-political terms, but being proper would demand even more cumbersome headlines for my travel posts. In this case, I’m breaking with tradition and am ignoring Italy because Sicily seems almost another country.
Sicily hangs close to the toe of Italy’s boot as though a ball kicked off the mainland, floating amid the waters of the Tyrrhenian and Ionian Seas and the rest of the Mediterranean. Through the centuries, the island often fell under the rule of other powers than that of the mainland.
Continue reading “Postcard from Siracusa, Sicily: Water indeed creates a ‘strange island’” →
Above: Detail on Rathaus, City Hall, on Romerberg Plaza
Pristine. Perfect condition. How could ancient medieval buildings in the the historic center of Frankfurt am Main possibly look this good? Their appearance is particularly amazing in the midst of so many mid-century structures.
The answer lies in the tenacity of the people in this region. Below is how the plaza appeared following the arrival of Allied troops as World War II drew to its costly close.
Continue reading “Postcard from Frankfurt, Germany: Impressions prior to following in Goethe’s path” →