If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

Inspirations for Home Design

 

Selinunte – Sicily, Italy

 Greek heritage – visual beauty among the ruins at Selinunte

©Becky Linhardt2012

 “Seems to me that the Sicilians are proudest of their Greek heritage,” said someone in our tour group as we visited another set of Greek ruins. The local guides that took us through various Greek and Roman ruins pointed out that the Romans did not destroy the “better” Greek culture but adopted it though the guides seemed to bemoan the Romans tendency to convert Greek amphitheaters to sports arenas. Written Italian histories about ancient Sicily indicate that the Phoenicians and Romans weren’t all bad but the ancient Carthaginians were “monsters.”

At Selinunte there are no ancient, warring people to confront just piles of limestone building material and some partially reassembled sections of Greek temples. On a sunny spring day with a soft breeze cooling the heights and vistas of gorgeous a shoreline and unbelievably blueMediterranean Sea, the ancient wars, tyrannical rulers, and blood-thirst slaughters were hard to imagine.

Wildflowers found life in the sacred inner area of Temple E. So did a small lizard that quckly scooted across the sun-warmed stones.

The setting was so beautiful in contemporary time that it is easy to understand the pride that the locals held for the ancient Greek civilization in Sicily, city states that for a short time were stronger that the Greek states that had sent their citizens to colonize what was then an unspoiled island rich in resources.

 

Everywhere I turned I found a harmonious composition to “shoot” but the intense afternoon sun was not great for photographs – almost too much contrast. I say almost because I was a bit surprised that so many of my images were as good as they are. (more images at Photography). Maybe in the summer things will be hot and dusty; not as green and soft as late April.

The historical site at Selinunte is huge – acres and acres of a protected headland to wander on trails or a narrow roadway that is used by some golf carts rented by tour groups that are “on a schedule.” Closer to the sea, the contrast between the ancient ruins of the rubble around Temple C and a resort town on the next headland seemed a bit “odd.”

As ever, Life goes on. After the total destruction of Selinunte by the Carthaginians, the town was rebuilt but never returned to the political power it had previously. We were told that when the Romans conquered Sicily the town was no longer important and eventually, over time, the town was abandoned. The guide also told us that the way that columns fell at Temple Ci s believed to indicate that an earthquake may have finally collapsed that structure but by then Selinunte had been forgotten as a town so much of its history after the fall of Rome is unknown.

With the interest in classical Greek history that developed in recent centuries, archaeologists came. We were told that some attempts at reconstruction were made before that practice fell out of favor within academic circles. I think that I agree with the decision to leave things as they are now.

There is something majestic about the monumental scale of even the partially restored temples within the vast fields at the site. Fully restored it might look like a Disney creation. Left to age in place these ruins have a graceful antiquity and beauty that our inner eyes can imagine in ways greater than anything that could be reconstructed.

www.italiantourism.com

http://www.bestofsicily.com/

http://www.selinunteservice.com/parco.htm

www.perillotours.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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