While here we've been posting quite a lot on social media, sharing the places, people and thoughts on Sicily. I thought I'd catpure some of the best ones and share them on the newseltter.
Sorry, if you've already seen them and are now considering banging your head against the wall at the thought of having to see them again. But then again, if you bang your head against a wall long enough, eventually it becomes numb enough to break through it. So, in that regard, you're welcome.
The experience of a place is different like night and day. Where one reveals the other conceals. What does not change is that which is not seen by the eye but felt with by the heart. It is that which begs the question, what do I feel.
A wrong turn led us to this ancient city in the province of Enna, called Caltagirone, source of many of the most beautiful ceramic sculptures found everywhere in Sicily. La scala, the 142 steps pictured here, lead to the most amazing views of the Gela plain. The city, which was demolished in the earthquake in 1693, is just one of the many rebuilt in dramatic Baroque fashion.
There are little words to share that adequately describe the walks we've taken around Sicily. This one, made one day after our arrival in Troina, in the province of Enna, home to Franca's father, Salvatore. We call it Our Hike to the Top of the World.
It's offered our best view yet of Mt. Etna, known here simply as Montebello, beautiful mountain. Etna is one of the tallest and most active volcanoes on the planet. This year alone it has erupted so much that it has grown about 100 feet in height in just six months time. The soils around the mountain support extensive agriculture, with vineyards and orchards spread across the lower slopes and across the broad Plains of Catania to the south.
Pictured below with Franca is Guiseppe, one of the incredibly generous, friendly—and extremely knowledgeable—people we've met here in Sicily. He offered to take us on a hike through the country, with views of Etna, but also sharing stories of people and the land, which reminded us of the very purpose of this newsletter.
The area of Troina, itself, was the focus of an intense study by Cambridge University (and others) to understand better how humans interpret the landscape around them. The investigation, called the Troina Project, studied erosion and past land use practices and may ultimately reveal that humans began to settle in one place and grow foods long before originally thought.
There are no shortages of architectural wonders in Sicily, but the doorways in the hill town of Troina rank high on any list of most beautiful. Pictured here is one of my favorites.
It is near the Church of Saint Lucy, who is known as the bearer of light in the darkness of winter, a symbol of which this doorway certainly encompasses.
And then, of course, there is, as is almost everywhere here, that view.
With less than a week left of our travel here, we intend to spend it simply digesting our experiences and thoughts and focusing on what may come next. Look to hear from us again, with more of our ideas on how place plays apart in longing and purpose.
Thanks for subscribing to The Revelate. We believe, as we hope you do, too, that something special and important and relative will come of our time in this wild, historically-rich place.