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.
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.
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.
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.