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The real enigma of this place is that it has been inhabited for 3000 years at the foot of Etna, despite earthquakes, eruptions, disasters, calamities and destructions. To live so close to the most active volcano in Europe is an expression of change and transformation, suggesting the process of self-renewal leading to fulfillment. Thus, Catania appears “flourishing from the rock in a mysterious arrogance”, carrying the knowledge of the past, the burden of mystery and preserving its brilliant smile. The historical centre is surrounded by legends, whether it’s the Elephant Fountain, or The Cathedral with its venerable patroness Saint Agatha, or still owned by a Sicilian aristocratic family The Biscari Palace, or the Roman Spa, Greek artefacts dating back to the 7th century BC with a clear evidence from the prehistoric times or the monumental Benedictine Monastery of Saint Nicolò, where the acropolis of the ancient city stood. Each stone has its history, long, profound, suffering and glorious at the same time.
A visit to Catania is a most fascinating act of self discovery, back down the old ways of time… the real enigma of this place is that it has been inhabited for 3000 years at the foot of Etna, despite earthquakes, eruptions, disasters, calamities and destructions. To live so close to the most active volcano in Europe is an expression of change and transformation, suggesting the process of self-renewal leading to fulfillment. The atmosphere of Catania makes you pray more than a saint would pray, and sin more than an ideal sinner would commit.
The history of this place in Sicily is unforgettable, and it still preserves the elegance and prestige with its limestone buildings from different epochs seeing the ageless Athena with her golden hair dressed in white and armed with a sword. The glory of old Syracuse is sung by Livius, Plutarch, Cicero, Ovid, Pindar, Virgil, Plato. It witnessed various wars, conflicts and competitions, the most famous victim was the prodigy Archimedes, whose death signalled the intellectual decline of this fertile land. Reflecting the historical ongoing of the island Syracuse absorbed each single epoch, culture, fashion, architectural design and various languages, as well. The majestic facades of the noble constructions with enormous, well-molded pillars, nooks containing statues and beautiful baroque style decorations. The splendid architecture recall memories of the royal glory once existed in Noto.
Taormina is a flourishing garden with figs, grapes, pomegranates, peaches, almond trees, purple anemones, hibiscus and salvia; it gives you the sense of the interaction between humanity and nature, feeling of wonder and of historical pain. Its historical roots are older than the Greeks’ arrival in Sicily. There’ is no doubt that the role of Taormina was significant for the island, thus Pliny the Elder, a great intender and connoisseur of good Italian wines, noted Taormina for its excellent wine. Capricious Etna plays many jokes to locals, they are helpless in worshiping their “Mongibel”. The beautiful mount still waits for the return of Ulysses whose cinematic appearance fires modern imagination.