We spent the day exploring around the very southern tip of Sicily and enjoyed being out in the countryside with olive trees full of olives, almond trees, vineyards, and some lovely surprises. We watched some people harvest almonds by beating on the trees with long sticks and a farmer tilling in between olive trees that looked quite ancient. We visited a Reserve on the coast that will remind you of the kind of place we fight hard to keep from development (nothing new here) and they managed to do it! We saw pillboxes dotting the hills as this was a landing point for the Allies in World War II. All history all the time…
The highlight was a visit to an ancient Roman villa called Tellaro where some of the most beautiful mosaics I’ve ever seen are displayed.
Tellaro is one of those places that most people don’t visit because it’s out of the way and many people just don’t know about it. It’s a relatively recent archaeological discovery so that might be part of it but lucky for us. No crowds. It dates from the 4th century CE decorated with extremely detailed mosaic floors that were badly damaged, took 30 years to reconstruct and was just opened in 2008. The villa was destroyed in a fire probably during some barbarian invasion. The fire damaged the mosaics of course and a farmhouse was built over the site in the 18th century.
The photos I took did not come out so well so I’ve included some from the internet. I’m going to work on the ones I took when I get home (don’t have Photoshop on this computer).