Did you know that Morgantina is an originally Greek town located on a ridge that borders on Mount Etna and that at the city gates you will find one of the world’s most ancient thermal baths? And that in Gurfa, in the province of Caltanissetta, lays the tomb of King Minos, the builder of the labyrinth of Crete? And that comic theatre was born in Sicily and that the only collection of Greek masks in the entire world is in the Museum of Lipari? Were you aware that Iato (located between San Cipirello e San Giuseppe Iato) used to be the ancient Greek city of Iaitas, where archeologists have excavated a three-thousand seat theatre that no one ever visits? For nine centuries the Greeks culturally dominated an area stretching from modern-day Turkey and the Middle East to Spain and projected their influence from Greece itself and Sicily. Many sites in Sicily can be visited and are often located in magnificent landscapes, but they can be hard to find. And often there are no Italian tour guides available for informative tours. The author’s tenacity and love for his land led him to explore the island and assemble an unprecedented and exhaustive itinerary of ancient Greeks’ ruins and relics, thus preserving their world and making us aware of their enduring presence.
This book is part of a new series hosting distinguished authors who transform Italian travel itineraries into passageways full of meaning. A visit to a museum, a historic city, or a natural park should not be a mere review of masterpieces or monuments, but rather a historically and culturally harmonious journey, or better yet a set of potentially parallel voyages, giving substance to stones, meaning to maps, colour to the past. Readers will feel like main characters participating in Italy's long history.
Franco La Cecla, an anthropologist and an architect, used to teach Cultural Anthropology at the Universities of Venice, Verona and Palermo.