I had a fabulous time visiting Sicily to do research for a forthcoming novel. Sicily is sometimes called “Persephone’s Isle” because it was believed that Persephone was snatched away by the God of the Underworld while wandering in a meadow picking spring flowers in Sicily. The island still has that feel of enchantment about it. The landscape is very dramatic, sometimes reminding me of California, with its steep mountain slopes.
But one thing it has that California doesn’t is Mount Etna. In a way, I feel that the volcano is the heart of Sicily. Imagine waking up every morning and squinting at that plume of smoke that puffs gently out of her. How is she feeling today? Moody? Furious? Sullen? It is like having a furious goddess on your doorstep. You never know what may happen next, and Etna can be lethal. For example, Catania was nearly destroyed in the 17th century and there have been many many scares since then.
If you feel like going to Sicily yourself, I recommend you go soon, for the enchantment is not going to last forever. As we speak, the Italian government is pouring money into Sicily in the form of new autostrada and new apartment buildings that are springing up like weeds to surround old city centers. I’m sure that the money is most welcome to the people of Sicily, but unfortunately, their country may be paying quite a price for it. Click here to see more photos.