Category Archives: art

In Sicilia: First Days in Siracusa

Cattedrale di Siracusa

As we’d decided not to rent a car, we traveled cross-island to Siracusa via a big, comfortable bus. In Siracusa, we were once again lucky in our lodgings: a light-filled apartment with views of the Ortigia Harbor. First on our list was on-foot exploration, with the sole required stops to see the Burial of St. Lucy, by Caravaggio (1571-1610), and to visit the local market. Continue reading

In Sicilia: Cappella Palatina

Guy de Maupassant said of the Cappella Palatina that it was “the most beautiful that exists in the world, the most stupendous religious jewel cherished by human thought and executed by a master hand.” [Cappella Palatina Brochure] He wrote:

Upon entering our Gothic cathedrals, we experience a severe, almost sad, sensation. Their grandeur is imposing, their majesty astonishes, but does not seduce. Here, we are conquered, moved by that something, almost sensual, that color adds to the beauty of forms. [Sicily: A Literary Guide for Travelers, p.19] Continue reading

In Sicilia: Going for Baroque (Part 2)

Chiesa del Gesù

OK, it wasn’t the smartest move, I acknowledge. We’d spent the morning at the stunning Capella Palatina (more on that anon). As we strolled back to the apartment, we happened on the 16th century Chiesa del Gesù. Though we were more than a little peckish, we decided to stop in for a “quick look” prior to lunch. Continue reading

In Sicilia: Chi pupu eri?

Marionette funeral ceremony (Korea)

In Puppet: An Essay on Uncanny Life, Kenneth Gross describes Sicilian puppeteer Mimmo Cuticchio’s L’urlo del mostro (The howl of the monster), a puppet theater based on the Odyssey. In one scene, Cuticchio

plays Odysseus himself, encountering the ghosts of puppets in the underworld, seeking his identity there among lost comrades and dead family members. Of one skeletal wooden figure he asks, in Sicilian, “Chi pupu eri?” (What puppet were you?).” Continue reading

In Sicilia: Monreale Cathedral

Monreale Cathedral Sanctuary

From time to time, our friend David writes to say, “You MUST.” And so it was, when we decided to visit Palermo, that he wrote, “You MUST go to Monreale.”

Needless to say, before this, I’d not even heard of Monreale—which turns out to be a small town just outside Palermo that happens to have a stupendous Arab-Norman Cathedral. Continue reading