Hello and welcome. Hope you enjoy the images I have posted. Please do not reproduce them without my permission. Most are available as note/greeting cards or as prints/enlargements. Thank you for visiting my site and your comments.
Many have asked about the Header image above, which I named 'Eerie Genny'. It was originally shot with film [taken on the shore of the Genesee River near the Univ. of Rochester]. During the darkroom development, I flashed a light above the tray. The process, known as 'solarization', produces eerie, ghostlike effects; some have mistaken this image as an infra-red photo. Some 35+ years later, I scanned and digitized the print, and did a little modern day editing, and, voila.
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Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sicily 10: Catania [Sky Watch Friday]

From Syracuse we headed north to Catania, situated between the slopes of Mt. Etna and the Ionian Sea. [REMINDER: If you scroll back to the Sicily 1 post, you will see a map of our itinerary.] Yet another UNESCO World Heritage site, its proximity to the volcano is evident from the the unique buildings made from black lava (see below).

Catania was founded in 729 BC by Greek colonists. Having survived earthquakes and eruptions over the centuries, Catania was razed to the ground in 1693. Rebuilt during the 18th century, the city is comprised of broad, straight streets and large unevenly shaped squares, a precaution against earthquakes. One of the highlights for us was the Mercato della Pescheria [fish market], which occupies many street and small squares. It is open mornings on a daily basis. One entrance into the market contains a fountain, Fontana dell’Amenano, which is fed by water from the underground Amenano River. Sculpted in 1867, the fountain is a focal point for meeting.

Entering the market from the fountain, I was stunned to see a huge cross section of a fish of some sort.  (Top image below) I still chuckle over the “conversation” I had with the fellow wielding the knife. I asked if it was a shark, first in English then in German. But, he didn’t understand either. Then, I hummed the theme from the movie Jaws, as the shark began its attacks. It was an ‘Aha moment’.  He burst out laughing, “No signor, tonno (tuna)”.

Also located near the fish market entrance is another fountain, Fontana dell’Elefante (this needs no translation). Sculpted in 1736, it consists of an elephant made of lava standing on a pedestal. On its back is an Egyptian obelisk with a globe on top (not visible in these images). The fountain has become Catania’s symbol.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Sicily 9: Ragusa & Syracuse (Siracusa) [Sky Watch Friday]

We continued on to visit the Baroque town of Ragusa, yet another UNESCO World Heritage site. As we drew near, the view was not particularly attractive.

However, once we were inside the town and began our walk, we were taken by the Baroque building facades. Some balconies [of now private apartments] were richly adorned.

After a brief stay we drove on to Syracuse [Siracusa], historically a city of significant economic and cultural importance. An archeological site contains several noteworthy attractions. For example, a 5th century B.C. Greek theater, where the tradition of staging ancient Greek plays was revived in 1914 (top image), a less well preserved Roman amphitheater (middle image), and an enormous cave [The Ear of Dionysius] that once served as a prison (bottom image). Numerous caves in this area were originally quarries for extracting stone for building.

 Below are some of our group boarding a small boat for a harbor tour. Our tour leader surprised us with a buffet lunch.

It goes without saying that we visited the archeological museum, strolled through narrow streets (se below), and made sure to check out the local public market.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Sicily 8: Caltagirone [Sky Watch Friday]

Next in our itinerary was the hill top town, Caltagirone, another UNESCO World heritage site.

 Caltagirone is the center for ceramic tile manufacturing in Sicily. This becomes evident when one ascends the long staircase connecting the lower and upper towns. Every step is decorated with colorful majolica tiles. The bottom image gives one a sense of the extent and steepness of the climb.

Along the way, I took a number of shots of isolated tiles. All manner of scenes are depicted.


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Sicily 7: Enna and Villa Casale (Piazza Armerina) [Sky Watch Friday]

Our next destination was Enna, a mountain town that is the highest [3,054 ft] provincial capital in Italy. The town’s exceptional location affords wonderful views of the surrounding landscape.

Our stay in Enna was brief, as our main objective was to visit the Villa Casale, a 3rd-4th century AD Roman estate discovered in the late 19th century. It is one of the most fascinating attractions in all of Sicily. The magnificent floor mosaics in the complex of rooms were uncovered in the 1950s under a thick layer of mud [resulting from a 12th century flood], which kept them well preserved through over the years. Most notable are the mosaics in the Hall of Female Gymnasts, where the bikini clad [yes, bikinis in Roman times] gymnasts are depicted. The athlete placing a crown on her head was the winner of her event.

Other scenes depicting gods, wild animals, hunting or even love-making adorn the walls and floors.