A quarry with a bit of a past...

Looks nice doesn’t it? The Latomia dei Cappuccini is a quarry which is now stocked with plenty of greenery. Except a good while back it was a very different story.

Following the disastrous Sicilian Expedition several thousand Athenian captives were kept here. A bit of an urban myth reported that the Syracusans allowed anyone out who could recite lines by Euripides, but the reality was far more gruesome than even the writer of The Bacchae could have written.

In cramped conditions the prisoners were baked by the sun, the lack of room meant that the sanitary conditions were truly appalling. Death from disease and dehydration was rife.

Thucydides reported that the Sicilian Expedition was the biggest disaster the Athenians suffered, which is ironic given how news of it broke. It all started in a barbershop in the Piraeus (as I mention in my antiquity and shaving piece). A chap who had heard about it casually mentioned the story as he sat, presumably after arriving from the area. The barber was aghast and raised the alarm.


Casa Talia - Sicily, Italy

Tucked away in the enchanting, UNESCO-protected town of Modica, Casa Talía is a stylish and intimate boutique hotel with 11 individually styled rooms and a gem of a garden overlooking the city’s baroque buildings. Lovingly restored by its designer owners, the property offers accommodation in atmospheric stone houses, each of them transformed in a Mediterranean-inspired paradise, with private terrace/balcony, gorgeous tiles, and quirky antique furnishings.

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