The Architecture of Sicily
From the 8th century BC to the present, the history of Sicilian architecture is one of the longest and richest in Europe.
From being part of Graecia Magna- the wider settlement of ancient Greeks, with the temple sites of Segesta, Selinunte and Agrigento, to the Roman conquest, their beautiful mosaic floor at Piazza Armerina and their rebuild of the theatre at Taormina, Sicily is one of the best places to see the Ancient World. The Byzantines arrived in the 6th century, the Arabs in the 9th, and the Normans in the 11th. This resulted in a unique “syncretism” as UNESCO calls it between Romanesque architecture, Arab woodwork and Byzantine mosaics. The finest examples are in the cathedrals of Palermo, Monreale and Cefalu, and the splendid palatine chapel in the royal palace of Palermo.
In 1692 a violent earthquake hit the south east of the island and a massive restoration in Baroque style created the cities of Ragusa, Noto, Modica and Scicli in a local style rich in fine stone carving.
Residential Fees From: £348. Non Residential: £233
Mark Powell – After studying languages and art at Durham University, St John’s College Oxford, the Ruskin Art School and Vienna University, Mark Powell began a career as a university lecturer in Humanities at Buckingham University, and later switched to leading Art and Architectural tours. He has lived, taught and acted in theatre in Vienna where wrote and broadcast for Blue Danube Radio. He has led many art tours to the city. He led the first art tours to Sarajevo after the siege, one of which was filmed for BBC World’s “Fastrack” programme.
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