Hard to believe this was nine years ago…

Some pics from a ‘business’ trip to Sicily.

The obligatory shot of Mt. Etna… and it wasn’t trying to erupt! Yay!

The castle town of Motta… NARROW streets, as in ONE chariot wide…

The Greek theater at Sircusa, still used on occasion.

And about a hundred yards away, a Roman amphitheater, built using the marble from the Greek theater above. Bonus points if you know who died in Sircusa in 212 BC, and when the amphitheater was built.

This Greek theater is in Taromina, and you can see Mt. Etna in the background. It too is still used, they had done a Greek play the week before we were there. You can also see the coastline to the left of the picture.

And another view from Taromina, looking out over the Mediterranean.

Hard to believe the first time I was there was 1978… Lots of changes on the base over the years, out in ‘town’, not so much… πŸ™‚ Most of the towns have ‘only’ been there a thousand years or longer…

One ‘interesting’ tidbit, there was an actual archeological dig going on at a trash dump outside Catania, as people have been dumping stuff there for almost 2000 years!!!

Answers to the earlier questions below the fold.

Archimedes lived and worked in Sircusa, now known as Syracuse. It was the easternmost furthest west Greek city, according to the historians there. He died in the siege of Sircusa in 212 BC, supposedly killed in his home by a Roman soldier he pissed off…

The Romans used the Greek Amphitheater for close to 200 years, before building their own amphitheater using the blocks of marble from the Greek one sometime around 20 BC during the reign of Augustus.




TBT… — 20 Comments

  1. Okay, I haven’t yet looked. Archimedes is the name that jumps out at me. I haven’t a clue about the date of the build.

  2. Given how much trash researchers are turning out these days, an archaeological dig at a trash dump should come as no surprise. πŸ˜›

  3. Jim- You win the kewpie doll! And the construction was around 20 BC!

    TOS- LOL, good point!

  4. I wonder how many bodies they will find in that dump since Catania is the home of the Goodfella’s.

  5. Archaeologists have always been excited over finding trash dumps of any kind – what a people throw away tells a LOT about that people. Sometimes even more than what they keep!
    Nice pics of Sicily. And wouldn’t Siracusa be the westernmost Greek city intheir empire, or was it just easternmost on Sicily?

  6. “… . It was the easternmost Greek city ….”

    Compass calibration overdue.

  7. George- Probably not many… Fishing boats…

    Gerry- I’m glad!

    Tom- Sigh… I plead Grappa… LOL

    Randy- Good ones, for sure!

    SPQR- Yep… Heading for the compass rose… sigh

    • Would that be good grappa or rotgut grappa? Yes, there is a big difference, just like in tequila. ☺️

  8. Mom and Dad LOVED Taromina. Haven’t been south of Rome in Italy, but Sicily is on my bucket list.

    And an old Chief once told me the most important words of Italian to learn are “Vino localle” …

  9. Tom- There is NO such thing as ‘good’ grappa…

    BP- Yep, Vino localle will get you better food too!

    • I’ve had some really nice grappa – was still very potent, but very smooth. Not like the paint remover that is most cheap grappa (and a lot of cheap tequila). Some of the best was at a restaurant in Dallas – Mi Piaci – where their grappa had been mellowed in a stone jar with green figs.

  10. OLD NFO, beg to differ with you on “good grappa” as there is indeed such a liquid nowadays.

    In my old home country (Uruguay), many Italians settled in the 1860’s. They of course proceeded to make grappa using what remains of the grape skins, seeds and stems after pressing for wine.

    In the last few years 1990’s, some genius decided that instead of bottling the first raw distillation after fermenting that junk (which is affectionately known as sandpaper grappa), to do a second and third distillation.

    A thrice distilled “grappa” is sold as a very high end liquor and it is as smooth as a fine scotch sipping whisky.

    article is in Spanish from an Argentine newspaper, but just look at the prices of the stuff.


  11. Tom/Terra- I’ll bow to y’alls expertise, but ‘I’ have never had any that I’d say is better than moonshine… LOL

    Rick- Glad you enjoyed them!

    Ed- It has and hasn’t changed, if you know what I mean.

  12. I remember moving “stuff” into and out of Sig back in the early ’90s with the C-5 Galaxy. Good times! Their idea of pizza was significantly different than any other though.
    Grappa, now that’s another story for another time, from many months deployed to Aviano.
    Thanks for the memories!

  13. Grapiya is awful stuff. Rakomelo, in the other hand, is wonderful.