Isola di Favignana, Sicilia (Favignana Island, Sicily), Italy

If you think that Italy is only the same tourist destination for art heritage cities lovers, you’re not wrong! Indeed Italy holds the absolute record of the country with most UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the world. But it’s also known for its countless seashores and beaches, with amazing locations where spending your vacations, but only if you like the Mediterranean crystal sea and, obviously -ça va sans dire- the best food in the world (as I already had the opportunity to write, no objections to this undisputed claim will be admitted here…).

The island of Favignana, one of the Ègadi Islands, just to the west of Sicily, rightfully belongs to this category.

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Remains of the Temple of Apollo at Syracuse, Sicily.

This Greek temple dates to about 590-580 BC, and is the oldest surviving Doric temple in Sicily. It belongs to the Greek temple’s so-called moment of “petrification”, where, at least up to the roof line, stone replaced wood in its construction. The columns are fairly squat, and tightly packed together.

There is an inscription on the stylobate of the east facade. We are unfortunately missing some text from the part of the inscription that informs us as to who built the temple. Kleomenes is deemed the most likely reconstruction, who was evidently rather proud of the columns:

Kleo[men]es, the son of Knidieidies, built it for Apollo; and he built the columns, beautiful things”.

Photos courtesy of Davide Simonetti.


Beautiful Coin of Hieron II

This is a gold hemistater or drachm from Sicily, struck by Hieron circa 220-217 BC when he was king.  The coin shows Persephone wreathed in barley with a cornucopia behind her. The reverse shows a charioteer driving a biga with prancing horses and an inscription IEPΩNOΣ below.

Hieron II was a tyrant and later became the king of Syracuse, Sicily (reigned circa 270-215 BC). He struggled against the Mamertini and eventually allied his city with Rome. He was the illegitimate son of a Syracusan noble, Hierocles, who claimed descent from Gelon. He was also a former general of Pyrrhus of Epirus and an important figure of the First Punic War.

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Capofaro Malvasia & Resort - Italy

Set within a working vineyard on the Italian island of Salina, Capofaro Malvasia & Resort is a luxurious 20-suite retreat which combines traditional Aeolian whitewashed architecture with personalized Mediterranean hospitality. Its rooms boast a soothing, minimalist decor with light, serene tones, and feature private terraces overlooking the sea and the volcanic islands of Panarea and Stromboli in the far distance. Guests at the hotel can relax with an alfresco massage in the outdoor relaxation area, cool off with a refreshing swim in the beautiful freshwater pool, or sunbathe on the RapaNui private beach. Additionally, there’s a lovely restaurant and bar with a glorious rooftop terrace, where you can indulge in homemade Sicilian cuisine.