Making art in Sicily in 2017
We spent 3 weeks in Sicily in 2017, most of it in Graniti, a small town in eastern Sicily, near to the Ionian coast and near to the largest active volcano in Europe, Mt. Etna. The bustling tourist destinations of Taormina, Giardini-Naxos and Catania are nearby, but Graniti wants more visitors. One initiative to raise interest in Graniti has been to establish a residency programme for artists to create contemporary murals on walls in the town - and a group of artists from Vancouver were asked to participate this year.
Here is the result.
Of course we also explored in and around Graniti.
Graniti is surrounded by harsh, dry ridges and peaks, turning green now. The town is nestled in the valley, surrounded by olive groves, vineyards and orchards. We were there in October and November - the dry heat of Summer was over and the vegetation was benefiting from the early rains. Mt. Etna was even coated with snow one morning.
The town looks pretty with all the buildings huddled close together and dominated by the big church in the middle. Roads in town wind and twist between the buildings, without much room for cars. And the cars show the wounds of it. Other talented muralists have been busy in Graniti before us, and the murals do brighten the town, as does the paint on the buildings. Italians are not afraid of colour, and it looks wonderful. It is a very Catholic community, and there are a number of big churches and many small shrines. A big and well-cared-for cemetery was quite the sight on All Souls Night.
Outside the town, the forests of umbrella pine are magnificent. Apparently when the heat of summer is too much, a temporary bar opens up there in the cooler air, and the locals gather to eat and drink in comfort. We were too late in the year for that - but we also missed the heat! And, because it was Autumn, in the woods we saw carpets of cyclamen flowers. Behind and above the town we found a pretty area of orchards and the views from there at sunset were wonderful. We even spotted a house that we thought would make a great holiday home. Dream on!
Click on a photo for a larger image and a slide show.