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Landscapes

Ph. © Fabio CIlea

Landscape

The word landscapes immediately evokes pleasant views of nature, affected by human intervention to a greater or lesser degree, but over the centuries various schools have tried to define more precisely what Landscape actually means. According to some scholars, it can be described as the sum of things and the relationships between them, others identify it more as the result of the evolution of Nature and the actions of Man, other still define landscape as the sum of the forms of a place and the relationship between them. The European Landscape Convention in 2000 has determined that Landscape means a certain part of land, as it is understood by the population, whose character derives from the action of natural and/or human factors and their inter-relations. Seen in this light, the landscape is the authentic expression of the values of that particular place, a tool for intergenerational transmission and exchange between peoples.
If, as the geographer Eugenio Turri wrote, we consider the landscape not only to be a physical space formed by mankind to live and produce in, but also as a stage on which everyone plays their part, both as actor and as spectator, then the landscape of south-eastern Sicily is an extraordinary representation. The continuous sequence of promontories, bays, beaches, small islands and cliffs; the wetlands and marshes that dry up in the plains; the farmland sliced by rivers and torrents that run through woods and stone mountains where the people of the paleolithic period searched for answers to the eternal questions of existence, life and death. With the stone and in the stone of the Hyblean HIlls, they cut, excavated and carved; the tombs of the dead were of stone, as were the tools and the arms of the living; later the towns were of stone as were the temples, theatres and statues. Today, from Siracusa to Buccheri, from Noto to Palazzolo Acreide, you can still feel the force of the giuggiulena stone and the Hyblean limestone, still white and glowing under the patina of millenia. Ortigia and the Neapolis park are some of the main attractions of cultural tourism in Sicily, the object of desire of generations of travellers, artists and writers from all over the world. Siracusa’s cultural heritage also consists of places that are less well-known but no less important, like Pantalica, Thapsos, Mégara Hyblaea and Akrai.
Much of what has been lost of those past glories was not destroyed by the passing of time or ravaged by the elements, but rather by men and their wish to erase those memories which they felt didn’t fit into their idea of ‘modern identity’. That’s why the promotion of cultural heritage linked to the landscape can help to create a new economy and opportunities for tourism and agriculture, while stopping the degradation of the environment and promoting territorial cohesion.
April 22, 2022

The Culture of Beauty

L’ospitalità greca ha lasciato testimonianza di sé non solo nei libri di storia e nei manuali di archeologia ma anche nell’arte, nelle architetture ovunque i greci siano arrivati. Fu così a Siracusa - prima comunità greca indipendente d’occidente - e così è ancora dopo ventisette secoli.
April 22, 2022

Autumn on the Anapo River

Gli scatti dell’artista Matteo Basilé nel 2019 sono stati al centro delle immagini che la Fondazione Inda ha scelto per ciascuna delle tre produzioni della Stagione al Teatro Greco di Siracusa: Elena, Le Troiane e Lisistrata.
March 22, 2022

I am Water

Io sono Acqua. Vivo, mi muovo, genero vita dentro la vita. Sono antica dentro l’antichissimo, come il mondo che senza me non esisterebbe. Immagini e parole di Graziana Toscano.
February 16, 2022

The Historic Gardens of Siracusa

Despite the current interest in Italian gardens and villas and the profusion of compendious writings on them, the gardens of the Italian South and of the islands, with the exception of those in Palermo, remain still in the shadows. This is especially true for the gardens of Siracusa.
November 8, 2021

The landscape of Vendicari

L’Oasi di Vendìcari costituisce un sistema dinamico di paesaggio, dove le sue singole componenti risultano uniche e perfettamente integrate, a testimonianza dell’evoluzione naturale di un territorio di grandissima valenza testimoniale.
June 18, 2021

The Saltflats of Priolo

The Nature Reserve “Saltflats of Priolo”, found in a very particular setting and famous mostly for the vast industrial area around it, offers unexpected delights and reveals an important natural environment.

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