TRINACRIA the Sicily’s Emblem

It is no coincidence to have inserted the Trinacria, an ancient magic symbol, emblem of Sicily, in the logo of Eretikos Iki.

Sicily the beautiful, that bewitches with its charm of countless facets.  Land of excellence, which has always played a significant role in history and culture!

The sequence of numerous civilizations has left architectonic, artistic and cultural evidences that make Sicily a privileged land, where history can be traced through lots of signs that have endured during time passing through, reaching us.

We can find the traces of Elimi at Erice and Segesta. The legend says they came from Troy, survivors of Greeks’ extermination, descendants of Aeneas and relatives of the Romans. That was the reason for the two cities were spared during the Roman colonization of Sicily, receiving a treatment as sister cities.

In Segesta, the Doric temple and the Greek theater are of remarkable beauty.

The history of Erice, longer and more complicated, has left evidences as  the Cyclops Walls of the Elimo-Phoenician-Punic period – VIII / VII century BC- and the Venus’ Castle – XII / XIII century-, built on the ruins of the Roman Temple of Venus Erycina. We also find the Spanish Quarter, the Pepoli’s Castle -19th century, the Cathedral of the Assumption, as well as many other monuments, churches and palaces that make Erice an honorary member of the “Most Beautiful Villages of Italy”.

Phoenicians and Greeks


Phoenician culture is witnessed by the remains found on the island of Mozia, located in the beautiful Marsala stagnone.


In Agrigento, the Doric Temples Valley, overlooking the blue of Mediterranean, enchants, carrying the visitor on an about 2,600 years journey back in the time.

Siracusa has got its wonderful Greek theater, from where the eyesight ranges over the landscape till the sea. It also has got the awesome “Latomia of Paradise”, where we find the famous ear of Dionysius. The Duomo of Siracusa, in which the Doric-style marries the Norman one, and gets enriched by the Baroque, does not leave indifferent even the most demanding traveler.

Taormina, on everyone’s lips following the G7 of last May, was the first Greek colony in Sicily, with Naxos. The ancient theater of Hellenistic foundation, however, today has a typically Roman plant.

Roman Art

Across the island, there are remains of Roman theaters and facilities, despite the fact that Sicily’s history was rather troubled during Roman domination, also knowing moments of depression and degradation.

However, at Piazza Armerina, the Villa del Casale, ranging from 320 to 370 DC, offers us a masterpiece of Roman art, either for architecture as for the wonderful floor mosaics.

Since 1997 it is part of UNESCO World Heritage.

The Enchanting Palermo

The extraordinary Palermo, boasts a multimillenial history and has played an important role in the events of the Mediterranean and Europe.

Founded by the Phoenicians, between the 7th and 6th centuries BC, was conquered in 254 BC by the Romans and became the main center of the island, although Syracuse remained the administrative capital.

Conquered by the Vandals in 429, it went under Byzantine rule in 536 and it was later conquered by the Saracens in 831.

Later, with the advent of the Normans, Palermo was the city of coronation of the Kings of Sicily.

This sequence of different civilizations, and customs, produced a remarkable artistic and architectural heritage, which makes Palermo a cultural and aesthetic jewel.

The Arabian-Norman Circuit of Palermo, with its monumental assets located in the city, and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale, in 2015, has been declared World Heritage by UNESCO.

Many buildings, among churches and palaces in the city, are also Italian national monuments.

Sicilian Baroque

The Sicilian Baroque differs from Italian and European baroque. The colors, shapes, plasticity and movement of the lines make it special. The persistence of architectural traditions derived from ancient dominations, and Spanish stylistic influence, make it a unique example of its kind.

Already started before the great earthquake of 1693, which destroyed the valley of Noto, with Catania and many other places, after the earthquake, baroque got a feverish development thanks to the Sicilian nobility, whose presence was massive in the territory.

The noble palaces strike the view for the balconies supported by masks and putti, often accompanied by complicated wrought iron balustrades.

The facades of the monuments are made more interesting by grates of rounded shape on the lower part, which guard the windows. That  kind of grate is called “jealousy”, because at that time, the young ladies destined for the convent, sometimes could see their sweetheart, unfortunately in the arms of another bride, feeling a dreadful jealousy, only from behind that special protection.

Scenographic staircases embellish the entrances of palaces and churches, which, in many cases, exhibit a complex concave or convex geometry.

The church bell tower is embedded in the facade. It is frequently in the center, over the gable, with the visible bells, each under its arch. The facades of some churches, with many bells, become very tall and assume a creative pyramid shape. The interiors of the churches are full of multi-colored marble, on the flooring and wall coverings.

Noteworthy is the presence of decorations from Norman period.

The ashlar enriched with carved sculptural decorations of leaves, scales, sweets and, above all, shells, becomes the “leitmotiv” of the Sicilian baroque.

Famous examples are the cities of Noto, Catania, Ragusa, Modica, Scicli, Militello and Ispica with Palermo and Messina.

If you happen to be in Sicily in May, do not miss out on Noto’s infiorata, which, along with Genzano’s one, reaches the highest levels. The next 2018 edition will be dedicated to China.

Tales and Legends

Walking here and there, in Sicily, you may be able to bump across a ballad singer who will tell you about epic tales.

One of my favorite is the legend of the “Moorish Head” or the “Beheaded Lovers”.

The Legend of the  “Moorish Head”

It is said that, around 1100, in a district of Palermo, today called Kalsa, lived a beautiful girl, pale and with pink cheeks like a peach at its maximum splendor, with beautiful blue eyes like the gulf Of Palermo.

The young lady lived alone in harmony, taking care of the beautiful plants of his balcony.

One day, while the girl was watering her beloved flowers, a young Saracen, passing under her balcony, crossed her eyes, and was enchanted by a so deep beauty.

He was taken by such a loving feeling that, without delay, entered the girl’s house and declared his love for her. The beautiful girl, impressed by such a bold feeling of love, abandoned herself to the young Saracen’s caresses.

The sweetness of so much love, unfortunately, concealed a great deception. Waiting for the young Moorish, in the East, there were wife and children.

When the young woman learned that her beloved would have left her for returning to his own home and family, she was struck by a frightening despair. She thus built her revenge. She seized her beloved in the most vulnerable moment. During the young Saracen deep sleep, after their love games, she decapitated him.

With the beautiful head of her beloved Saracen, she made a vase and planted a seed of basil, symbol of royalty and spirituality, inside it. She laid her beloved’s head on the balcony, and cared for it with great love. Each day, she watered the plant of basil with her tears. The basil rewarded the girl’s deep love, growing so lush to make all the neighbors envy it. Thus, the neighbors asked some artisan to make vases with the shape of a Moorish head, in which they also planted the basil.

The Legend of  the “Beheaded Lovers”

Another version of the legend, however, tells us that the beautiful young girl was a noble, and she was in love with a Saracen of humble origins.

The love story was discovered by her family, which punished the young lovers, decapitating them both and showing their heads as a warning to all the other girls.

That’s why, still today, on the balconies and in Sicilian gardens, you see heads-shaped jars, in pairs, in memory and honor of the two unlucky lovers.

If you go to Caltagirone, you can find them in every size and shape, for sale at renowned ceramic stores.

And here we are at the end of this short trip among the beauties of an excellent land, at any sense.

We will return to Sicily to discover the masterly craftsmanship and cuisine, among the breathtaking wonders of this region full of promises and surprises …