The symbol most commonly seen around Sicily is the Trinacria, which has been associated with Sicily since antiquity and represents the three geographical points/capes of the island (Pelorus, Pachynus, and Lilybæum) and its triangular shape. The Greek term trinakrios comes from treis (three) joined to the word àkra (promontory) – Trinacria, which was one of the many medieval names of Sicily.
As displayed in Sicily, the triskelos, as the Greeks called it, features the head of Medusa at the centre of three conjoined legs. This represents the protection of the island by the goddess Athena, the patron goddess of Sicily. In early mythology, when Medusa was renowned as Athena’s destructive aspect, slain and beheaded by Perseus, the Medusa head was accessorized in the center of Athena's shield. The three ears of wheat, surrounding the head of Medusa, represent the fertility of the land of Sicily.
Despite its widespread numismatic use, the trinacria itself never became a heraldic symbol in Sicily. That is to say, it never appeared in a Sicilian coat of arms until very recently. Yet it was published in numerous official documents over the centuries.
Based on the texts of Carlo Trabia, an architect who lectures on architectural history and Wikipedia.
Maiolica ceramics from Caltagirone and Taormina
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery made in dazzling colours. New methods for making varied colours of glazes were initially brought to Sicily by the Arabs of North Africa in medieval times, and the art of making Maiolica then spread from Sicily throughout Italy during the Renaissance.
Everywhere we go, the ceramic products (both glazed and unglazed) are widely sold and offered in variety of shapes and forms but most unusual and fascinating are the ceramic heads that are commonly used as flower pots! More interesting facts regarding this specific ceramic style can be found on: http://www.bestofsicily.com/ceramic.htm.
The Pine cone
“According to scientific findings our “Pine”al Gland, shaped like (and named after) the Pinecone, is at the geometric center of our brain and is intimately linked to our body's perception of light. The Pineal modulates our wake-sleep patterns and circadian rhythms, remains uniquely isolated from the blood-brain barrier system, and receives a higher percentage of blood flow than any other area of the body save the kidneys.
It is considered by many to be our biological Third Eye, the "Seat of the Soul," the “Epicenter of Enlightenment” - and its sacred symbol throughout history, in cultures around the world, has been the Pinecone.
Conifer Pine Trees are one of the most ancient plant genera on the planet, having existed nearly three times longer than all flowering plant species. The Pinecone is the evolutionary precursor to the flower, and its spines spiral in a perfect Fibonacci sequence in either direction, much like the Sacred Geometry of a rose or a sunflower.
The Greeks and Romans also incorporated the Pinecone into their elaborate systems of religious belief and mythology.” This is particularly visible by a very common use of the symbol in decorative arts and architechture of the island (https://thirdeyepinecones.com/history-symbolism).
During our visit to Delphi in Greece, I gathered numerous examples of the palmette motif that was found within the ancient site. This decorative element appeared to be present in Greek architecture since ancient times.
I thought I’d also share some interesting artefacts found across the site - such a fascinating collection of art and craft brought here from around the world by those who were seeking Oracles prophecy and used the gifts as a means to receive preferential treatment, or simply cut in the cue!
Following on from previous records of the flora and fauna found on the lush Greek islands, here is an encore of interesting specimina found and thought worthy of sharing with those who appreciate the less obvious.
Posted by Julia
Each morning, weather permitting, I like to go for a jog or a hike and take in our surroundings from the highest vantage point accessible. On these short trips I observe the abundance of wildlife and have come to notice how certain insects have preferences for specific plants.
One of the more common and is what I think is the fig beetle. They stand out with their large proportions and smart metallic green jacket, they can fly too..
Amongst all the weird and wonderful plants some really stand out whether obvious or surprisingly subtle:
Butterflies seem particularly camera shy and I've spent a lot of energy trying and failing to photograph the large colourful varieties. The smaller, less exotic ones seem happier around a camera so I settled for these..
There is a staggering abundance of olive trees on every island we visit. Some are cropped short for harvesting while others are left to their own devices and grow tall and proud. One thing that ties them all together is the curious twists and tangles they form as the grow with no apparent care for sunlight or gravity. Their roots penetrate deep down allowing them to thrive in the most inhospitable terrain. They grow very slowly and each seems to develop individual character as the years pass.
It's not just the flora that we come across, there is quite a diverse range of fauna too..
Bumblebee is also now a full member of the Bumblebee Conservation Trust. Thank you Ed for putting us onto them!
Find out here here.
Up next... dolphins!