I just returned from a week in Sicily with the Smith College Alumnae Chorus. (I’m not an alumnus of course but my girlfriend is.) With an Italian chorus and orchestra, the group performed Mozart’s Requiem at cathedrals in Acireale, Siracusa (Ortigia) and Catania. We stayed overnight in Palermo and Catania, the two largest cities on Sicily, and at a beach resort in Giardini di Naxos, near Catania. Day trips took us to Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples, Mount Etna, and the Archaeological Park at Siracusa. I’ve probably got over 2,500 image files to sort through, and that will take a long time, but I picked out a few highlights for now. Enjoy.


At the restaurant Kursaal Kalhesa, located in Palermo’s city wall. We had our first dinner in the courtyard here.


The Ceiling of the Cathedral at Monreale outside Palermo.


Monreale again


Inside an abandoned palazzo or villa in Palermo, which Ed and I discovered on our evening walk while the group rehearsed. There are numerous vacant-looking buildings here, and many buildings show signs of devastation from World War II. Apparently rebuilding efforts have only begun more recently.


The Temple of Juno at the Valley of the Temples, Agrigento.


In early evening, grandparents keep a lookout from the front door while kids play soccer and ride scooters in the street. We found our own foray into the back streets of Catania to be more authentic than the group walking tour of the shopping district.


The courtyard of an abandoned university building in Catania. The inside wasn’t much to see though I explored for a few minutes while Dan kept a lookout at the open doorway.


View across the street from the same building.


The chorus rehearsed at Chiesa di Santa Teresa in Catania.

Via Crociferi

During rehearsal I wandered Catania by myself one night, down alleys and up side streets. I found Via Crociferi and its ridiculously Baroque cathedrals and abandoned religious buildings. This might be my new favorite street to visit in the world.


The Greek Odeon in Catania.

cat ania

Walking back after practice, Maeve spotted this gargoyle across the street from the Katane Palace hotel in Catania.


Maeve and I watched Mt. Etna let off a little steam while we posed for self portraits at the Greek Theater in the mountaintop village of Taormina.


The Greek Theater was great, but I just as much enjoyed the solitude of the smaller and not-so-well-promoted Roman Odeon behind Chiesa Santa Caterina.


The Roman Amphitheater at the Archaeological Park in Siracusa. I would like to have explored this overgrown ruin but visitors are not allowed in.


Running late for the show in Ortigia, the Smith crew stormed through a wedding photo shoot ;)


Ghostly Dan rounding up the crew in the square after the show in Ortigia.

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13 Responses to Sicily

  1. Heather Hyde says:

    Hi Rob,
    Thank you for posting some of your wonderful, non-traditional, photos. You have a wonderfu “eye.” I’m looking forward to seeing more of the same.
    “Hi” to Maeve.
    Best, Heather H.

  2. Deb Keeney says:

    Rob, These are outstanding, as we all knew they would be. So glad I got our photos up before yours as yours put ours to shame. Can’t wait to see the concert photos and those from the rest of the trip.


  3. Anne Harding Woodworth says:

    Rob, thanks so much for these. Hope we see more fr those 2500 pix. What a good eye you have! You were the perfect seatmates on the trip back. Hi to Maeve. Anne

  4. Tansy Howard Blumer says:

    These are wonderful. I particularly like your fisheye shots. My favorite? The self portrait of you and Maeve enjoying the view of Mt. Etna. Looking forward to more!

  5. Diane (D) Foubert says:

    Rob, these pics are treasures! I agree with Tansy about her favorite, though I like the one of us rehearsing, with the ironwork in the foreground a lot, too. Fantastic shot of Jonathan leading the charge through the wedding party! Thank you for sharing what I hope will be the first of many groups of shots of our wonderful trip.

  6. vaughn g aylward says:

    outstanding!!! not enough room to comment on all great pics…………vaughn

  7. Pam Coleman says:

    Thanks for sharing your photos. I now know what to look for in Sicily over the course of our vacation. Mt. Etna is supposedly quite busy right now, so we should see a good light show.

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