Sicily, Island of Beauty and Conflict
Reflections on its History and Culture
This book vividly portrays the diversity of Sicily’s history and culture. In it, key events, places and artists are highlighted in wide-ranging articles presented in four parts: History, Cities, Ancient Sites and Artists. A rich tapestry emerges of an island that has experienced dramatic changes of fortune while becoming a melting-pot of cultural influences from the eastern Mediterranean, North Africa and mainland Italy. Commentary on the monuments and works of art, to be seen today, links Sicily past and present.
With this book, follow the stories of Dionysius’ castle, the foundation of the cathedral at Monreale, the Sicilian poets who invented the sonnet and the British merchants who made Marsala wine an international brand. Tour the big cities of Catania and Messina, the resorts of Taormina and Cefalù, and the baroque hilltowns of eastern Sicily. Explore the ancient sites, among them Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento. Witness the originality of the island’s culture through the profiles of eight artists, sculptors and architects from the Renaissance to the twentieth century including Antonello da Messina, Giacomo Serpotta and Renato Guttuso, as well as Caravaggio, who left some of his last masterpieces on the island.
This book complements the author’s previous work on Syracuse and Palermo, filling in gaps in the island’s story, to form a comprehensive trilogy on Sicily.
Click here for the contents page
For extracts from the book, see the following links:
Catania, Sicily’s Commercial Capital
Cefalù, a Seaside Town with a Norman Cathedral
Ragusa and Modica, Baroque Hilltowns above a Sparkling Coastline
Agrigento, Ancient Akragas, a Greek City
The Greek Temple at Segesta
Antonello da Messina, Renaissance Painter
Renato Guttuso, Twentieth Century Painter
Rosario Gagliardi, Baroque Architect