Sicily Through the Centuries: An Introduction with Cetty Spoto

Sicily Through the Centuries: An Introduction with Cetty Spoto


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Dig deep into the culture and history of the mystical island of Sicily in this introductory seminar. With a history spanning 3000 years, Italy’s largest region has been controlled by almost a dozen civilizations and countries - from the Phoenicians to the Normans. Home to everything from archaeological ruins to nature reserves, the island offers something for everyone.

Yet travelers to Italy do not always visit the stunning island, and if they do, it may be part of a cruise route with a brief stop in Palermo or Messina. Although it’s a good taster, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of the island. This seminar hopes to offer participants a well-rounded introduction to this Mediterranean jewel through an exploration of various Sicilian aspects. We’ll virtually visit a number of interesting sites on the island as we discuss Sicily’s colorful history. We’ll see wonderful examples of Sicilian architecture and art, and we’ll spend a decent chunk of time talking about Sicilian food (of course!)

We will start with Monte Pellegrino, the site of Palaeolithic cave-wall engravings and home to one of the world’s most stunning nature reserves. From here we’ll travel across the island to discover how the influence of Phoenician, Greeks, Arabs, Jews, Normans, and Spanish has made Sicily a unique and ever-evolving region, with its own identity, very different from the rest of Italy. Taking in sites such as Selinunte and Segesta, Siracusa and Palermo, this seminar will highlight well-known treasures as well as hidden gems of Sicily.

Led by architect and local guide Cetty Spoto, this seminar will introduce learners to the history and culture of Sicily. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an appreciation for the largest island in the Mediterranean.

Cetty Spoto holds a degree in architecture from the University of Palermo. After her graduation, she moved to the United States where she attended a course in interior design at the New York School of Visual Arts. After many years in Boston and New York, where she worked for several architectural firms, Cetty returned to Sicily, her native land, and now leads cultural tours in Palermo and beyond. Her walks are infused with her interests in architecture and the history of arts.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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