The Greeks in Sicily with Chris Downing
Circumambulation around the Island of Sicily in the realm of the gods and goddesses with Chris Downing was one of the greatest experiences—and likely one of the most memorable—of my life. Like Turkey, and much of Italy, Sicily was part of Magna Graecia, Greater Greece. Between the 8th and 6th centuries BCE the Greeks established colonies there, bringing with them their language, and religious and cultural traditions. On this two-week trip with 32 fellow travelers we visited Siracusa, where the Greeks first arrived, to Enna and the Temple of Demeter, to the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento, the ruins of a Roman villa at Piazza Armerina, then Selinunte and Segesta, the salt flats of western Sicily, the multicultural city of Palermo, the spectacular Norman church in Monreale, the blue sea at Cefalu, the Modonie Mountains, the slopes of Mt. Etna, and beautiful Taormina. Full circle, we return to Siracusa for the Greek tragedy Oedipus at Colonos by Sophocles in the ancient Greek theatre built in the 5thCentury BC under a cobalt sky. Chris lectured throughout the trip on the next day’s destinations, giving us rich food for thought and seeding our dreams. The group was exceptional with many Pacifica people, and friends, and family—all there because of Chris.