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Puttanesca Siciliana

Puttanesca Siciliana

per person

Α “Sicilian expedition” to History and to Gastronomy. The most complete package among all they are offered for Sicily. Sicily of the Ancient Greeks, of the Ancient Romans and of the Contemporary Sicilians. A travelling experience based on one of Cavafi’s poem, “The Poseidonians”.

18 to 25 Jun. 2017

04 to 11 Sep. 2017

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Sicilian Expedition by Cavafi

The Poseidonians forgot the Greek language
after so many centuries of mingling
with Tyrrhenians, Latins, and other foreigners.
The only thing surviving from their ancestors
was a Greek festival, with beautiful rites,
with lyres and flutes, contests and wreaths.
And it was their habit toward the festival’s end
to tell each other about their ancient customs
and once again to speak Greek names
that only a few of them still recognized.
And so their festival always had a melancholy ending
because they remembered that they too were Greeks,
they too once upon a time were citizens of Magna Graecia;
and how low they’d fallen now, what they’d become,
living and speaking like barbarians,
cut off so disastrously from the Greek way of life.

Translated by Edmund Keeley/Philip Sherrard.

(C.P. Cavafy, Collected Poems. Translated by Edmund Keeley and Philip Sherrard. Edited by George Savidis. Revised Edition. Princeton University Press, 1992)

This poem has spoken to us at an unexpected time,
We have taken its words.
-one by one, Cavafi’s words as pentelic marble, not limestone- and with those we have tried to build a Sicilian expedition of one week.

Melokdrama’s intention of this “Sicilian Expedition”, is firstly,  to see that we Greeks were not always in decay,
That there was once upon a time when Pluto was not associated just with Pluto (Wealth), as it is nowadays, but with the Arts and especially with the Theatre,
The rich were not interested only in becoming richer,
But they had a goal as to become better People,
Being a ’Better Person’ was extremely interesting and,
That is where they thought they were heading to. Towards Art.

And  here they come Temples and Theatres and Schools, and Pythagoras, and Empedocles, and Archimedes…

The intent of this trip is for us Greeks to be proud of the times, just for a while when Hellenism shared many things with humankind without falling into a trap of ranting and ancient worshiping

“I have imagined columns in places where they were absent,
Like a child’s pencil I saw them in front of me, a pencil which was eaten by its sharpener,
A Time-Sharpener which leaves less of me every time,

Only a little tip is left from my pencil and this is all I have to use to write History and Geography starting from the beginning of the world

With my mind I have knocked down buildings to find the remains of theatres,

I have built whole complexes of Temples,

I have entered quarries, in underground cities and underground passages of the soul,

I have visited craters and the depths of the oceans,
Where I had an encounter with two Warriors,

I dreamt of moments,

I planned them,

First through my mind, then to my soul
and last on paper,

I made up a bouquet of stories, to have and to offer one a/every day…

I tried to open crevices in Time and in History,

I prepared music for each moment of the trip, each moment  has its own melody,

I tried Ballads and Tarantellas,

I even tried to knock down the pseudowall  which encloses the beauty of the Opera,
We heard Maria Callas over and over and over again praying to the moon for peace

I fought to bring to real life all of these and I want after 7 days of Creation,
On the 8th,
If anything,
I dreamt of a Bond that would remain, some love, and a dance…”

*( from the planning of the trip by Yiannis Limtsioulis- From the blog Grecoland)

“The only thing that was left
Was a greek feast…”

We invite you to build an Experience in these 7 days
And on the 8th ,
Instead of resting ,
To live a Greek Feast by Cavafi,
The language may be lost but it testifies to who you are,
The way you are joyous,
The way you are sad,
When you say goodbye to loved ones,
The way you mourn,
The way you start living again because life continues,
The way you celebrate when your children join with their life partners,
The way you live…

On the last night of the Trip to Sicily Melodrakma Universal has got plans and proposals ! Transfusing Hellenism and Poetry and Action ! Instead of iddle words, theories and typical meetings with the Greek speaking villagers

The goal of the trip is “Experience” and not just another eight-day trip.

Experiential tourism is not easy.

Τhe Honesty of the Moment is an Invincible Gladiator
The Unpretentious is  Amorous
Relationships become a Bronze Statue on trips like these
Just like Riace’s sculptures,
Relationships they pass through fire but they do not melt,
They are left for centuries in the depth of the ocean and they never rust.

Thank you for your trust.

  • Departure
    Athens
  • Departure Time
    Please arrive by 9:15 AM for a prompt departure at 9:30 AM.
  • Return Time
    Approximately 8:30 PM.
  • Dress Code
    Casual. Comfortable athletic clothing, hiking shoes, hat, light jacket.
1

Day 1: Athens- Palermo

Meeting at the airport and flying to Sicily’s capital, Palermo. Arriving early, we will have the opportunity to take a glance at the historic center with its lively markets.  We will end up at Piazza Verdi. Is it possible for anyone to visit Italy while not having in mind music, and  specifically  The Opera? On the first day we will have our first encounter:  a visit to the famous Teatro Massimo, Palermo’s Opera, the third largest Opera House in Europe, besides Paris’s and Vienna’s. Here is where Maria Callas was “crowned” as the mythical Norma! In the end of the tour we will be taken to our hotel. In the afternoon we will have free time for relaxation. At night we will meet in the lobby to take a walk and have dinner in a selected restaurant. Overnight stay.
2

Day 2: Palermo - Cefalu

After breakfast, a second tour in the Sicilian capital , today we will focus on the architecture, the corners of the streets and the features of their houses, the island’s History, the passing of the Carthaginians, the Greeks, the Romans, the Normans, the French, the Spanish , the Arabs…. The Cathedral, Piazza Pretoria, Cuatro Canti, Palatina… Palermo was built in a very suitable position, the Panormos of the ancient Greeks. It is situated on top of a big bay and at the foot of Mount Pellegrino.  After seeing the most important spots of the city, we will head to Monreale, a suburb of Palermo about 15 km away, where we will see the most impressive church that we have ever visited, the Cathedral of Monreale, Christ as Pantocrator, built by the Normans in the 12th century, a masterpiece overloaded with amazing mosaics. 6500 sq.m of Mosaics!!! After a short break off we go to the beautiful Cefalu !!! Cefalu appeared as a beautiful human head to the ancient Greeks and that is how it got its name, KEFALI, Cefalu, a rock with a small fishing village at its foot. We will tour the beautiful narrow streets and then free time for lunch. Cefalú is known for the freshest tuna in the whole of Italy. At the fish taverns by the Tyrrhenian Sea, you will probably taste the best tuna you have ever eaten. We will return to Palermo in the afternoon. You will have free time to “get lost” in the colourful streets of the city or explore the Catacombs where hundreds of mummified bodies and  dreams of people were captured in their last expressions and remained there for the eternity, like the famous and everlasting two-year old “Rosalia”. We will have dinner in a selected restaurant and there comes next a night of surprises! Overnight stay.
3

DAY 3: PALERMO-ERICE-SELINUNTE- AGRIGENTO

After breakfast we will depart towards Erice. The flame  burning at the Temple of Aphrodite, once guided the ships that were crossing The Mediterranean Sea on one of the three edges of the island : at Trapani. Imposing Erice stands on top of Trapani.  It literally stands on the windswept heights of a mountain,overlooking the sea. It is a village that will remind you of the architecture and the landscape of the northern countries of Europe, as if you have been magically transported to the Alps. That is why it is so unique : through whichever gate we will  enter, we will be ascending the streets, always under the shadow of the stone houses. We can admire the view towards the Egadi islands, from the verandas of some old houses, now pastry shops and cafes. After our strolling in the streets of the island there will be time for coffee or shopping .Hand made rugs,carpets ,ceramics,Carthaginian masks ,cous cous and  sweets made from almonds are just some of the things that Erice is known for. Then, we will leave for Selinunte, the Greek colony  found in the furthest west of all. We will visit the archaeological site with the exquisite Acropolis but most of all we will focus on the Eastern Hill, where the remains of three temples are found. The one that stands out may be the Temple of Hera! After this visit, we will head towards what once was considered to be the “most beautiful city of the mortals” : Agrigento! Arrival. Selected dinner at the hotel and we will end the night in a magical way. Like a Ritual, a night walk amongst the lighted Temples of the Valley. A night that we will always carry  in our cells from then on. Return to the hotel. Overnight stay.
4

DAY 4: AGRIGENTO- PIAZZA AMERINA- SYRACUSE

What an unforgettable night! Yet the day that awaits us will also remain unforgettable for what it has to offer. A day dedicated to the Past, to the Ancient World and to History. We will visit the places that were brightly lit the night before, we will walk into every corner of the amazing archaeological site with the 12 Greek Temples, one of which is in exquisite condition. We will stand in front of the temples of Hercules, Zeus, Hera, Dioscuri and in front of the famous Dorian temple of Omonia (Concord). It still exists today because of its conversion into a Christian church. When the tour ends, we will have a little time for a cup of coffee before heading towards Piazza Armerina, another big capital of the Ancient History. We have promised a day dedicated to the Ancient World and the Greek one will be followed by the Ancient Roman World. We will tour the amazing Roman Villa, La Villa De Casale, with the incredible “modern” mosaics going back to the 4th century A.D. Melodrakma Universal is proud to include a tour of this farm which has imprints from the Roman Era in Sicily. Something truly very difficult to find in other tour programs. Melodrakma's ambition is to “enlighten” some great areas of the world even though they are less known to the tourist market. There will be a special tour at Villa del Casale. We will walk on wooden made bridges over the mosaics that will allow us to admire them with awe without stepping on them. In the end of the tour we will have time for lunch and then we will depart for Pentapolis: the famous Syracuse,  the place where the largest Tragedy  occurred in Greek history. Two (2)  magical nights in Syracuse. Arrival,  checking in and immediately out for a night walk in Syracuse.  We should not waste not even one minute of our time in this city.  A night out in Ortigia, in the heart of Syracuse, Archimedes' and  “Malena” 's city. We will begin our night tour at  Duomo, literally embodied in the Dorian Temple of Athena ,then walk to the Arethusa's fountain, past Saint Sebastian's Chapel,where Caravaggio's painting , “ The Burial of Saint Lucy“,  is found, to Ipogeo, the underground city, where the famous galleries make up a mysterious exit to the sea We will finish our night patrol having free time for some dinner in the picturesque little streets of the city Overnight stay
5

Day 5: Syracuse - Noto

Breakfast and immediately our day begins with a tour of the famous Archaeological Park in Syracuse, with the Theatre and the Quarries, the stamp of the Catastrophe of Athens in 413 B.C with the enigmatic “Ear of Dionysius” as Caravaggio called it. Right after we will visit the city of Noto, a city resembling sets  of Cinecitta, like a stone garden which has bloomed, this is what one sees in Noto. When the walk tour will be over, we will have time for lunch to try the local specialty, Pizzolo. Return to Ortigia. That is  why Melodrakma  not only defies the cost but has also chosen two (2) overnight stays in Syracuse instead of one come -and-go day-trip and  then spend the night somewhere cheaper. Time is never enough in this city. One of our assets on this tour is these  two nights spent in Syracuse so we can taste the magic of Ortigia. Ortigia needs lots and lots of nights!
6

Day 6: Syracuse - Taormina - Katania

We would be leaving Ortigia with a heavy heart if it wasn’t  to continue to a beautiful city: Taormina, the Mediterranean Pearl. A place where artists, writers, poets, bohemians, romantic lovers, adventurer-lovers … The greatest resort in Sicily, Taormina, is impressive and built on a rock where we will have the opportunity to roam in. Everything is very chic in Taormina, even the last detail is carefully thought out. We will pass through Porta Messina, we will see Palazzo Corvaja, then go into Corso Umberto and finally reach the central Square, Piazza Nove Aprile with the church of St Augustine and the Clock Tower until we finally end up at the Ancient Theatre. “I have always said I have wanted to go to Taormina, but, if I had been ,which would be the land of my dreams?” The poet Kostas Ouranis described this place as ‘Land of the Dream’. We will tour the amazing Ancient Greek Theatre with such a breathtaking view that took many poets' breath away. The Ionian Sea and Etna appear to be the background of the Theatre. In the end of the tour we will have time to stroll around the streets, taste the food and coffee and... GRANITA SICILIANA, the most famous sorbet in the whole of Italy. We will be leaving for Catania in the afternoon. What a city this is! Living proof that a decaying city can be full of charm. We will be touring the most important sights of Sicily’s second largest city. We will pass through the Walls, the Teatro Massimo Bellini, we will walk along Maria Callas street. Yes , Catania named a street after her,such was the stamp “ Norma “ left behind ! We will also see Castello Ursino, then we will tour the streets of dei Crociferi, and Etna. We will see the University’s square and we will enter the Cathedral. We will stand in front of Bellini’s grave and the bones of Santa Agatha of Sicily that lie very near. She is considered to be the patron of breast cancer and her fame brings thousands of women here. Arrival and settling in at the hotel. Time for resting.  Then a night out for dinner and wine from Etna, at one of the most impressive wine-bars in Sicily. Melodrakma has planned  a night full of surprises for people who like to end their day differently, with a special dinner and wine in a charming environment rather than standing in front of a typical buffet. Overnight stay
7

Day 7: Catania - Etna - Reggio Calabria - Bova or Pentadactilo - Reggio

We will leave Catania and go to ‘its mother’ Etna. Catania's History has always been related with the activity of the biggest Volcano in Europe (3350m high ),still active in its heart. Nevertheless, it is not considered dangerous either by the millions of tourists or the  thousands of residents that live on the slopes and the surrounding areas. The fertile volcanic terrain is ideal for vines and therefore it produces the finest wine. We will go up to Silvestri crater. Loads of things have been written about the Charm that this volcano exerted on Poets, Literates and Philosophers. We will stand for a minute at the place where Empedocles chose  for himself to pass into Immortality by jumping into the crater. There ,we will have the chance to walk onto a “moon-like” landscape. We will have time for coffee and shopping in the local market for products like pesto and peanuts. Right after we will do something ‘Mythical’. We will go through the Passage of Scylla and Charybdis,and we will turn a myth to our personal story. We will experience our own passing at one of the points where Odysseas  (Ulysses ) was challenged while being on his ten-year adventure travelling in the seas. We will leave Sicily behind us and we will enter the Italian Peninsula. Arrival at REGGIO CALABRIA, at Reggio! Check in at the hotel and time to rest. Early in the afternoon, we will head towards the Greek-speaking village of Calabria, Pentadactilo or Bova, where we will wander the streets of one of the most beautiful Greek-speaking village in the whole of South Italy. We will reach the “Cave of Love” and we will visit the museum of the Greek Language in Calabria. Return and stay overnight at Reggio. Melodrakma has a proposal of a farewell dinner and a Greek-Italian feast with live music, tarantella and violins at Scylla, the mythical Scylla, where the beautiful village of Chianela lies, the Venice of the south or, dinner by Reggio’s seaside, the so called “most beautiful mile of Italy” with view to Sicily. Over night in Reggio.
8

Day 8: Regio-Bova-Pentadaktylos-Regio (Airport)

The last day of the trip, A WHOLE AND FULL DAY THIS ONE TOO! We will have breakfast and then, a great moment awaits…  We will visit the Archaelogical museum of Reggio and we will see the famous Riace’s Statues, The Riace Bronzes- masterpieces of Greek Art. They are 2 of the 5 bronze statues that exist. The Ancient Greeks always strove for Perfection and Beauty: bodies of detail, silver lashes, silver teeth, lips and nipples of bronze, eyes made of ivory and glass…. At the end of the tour we will have a little free time for a last coffe in Italy and we’ll take the bus for going back to Sicily. Transfer to the airport of Catania. Flight from Catania and return home. Melodrakma Universal would like to thank you “from the bottom of its heart“ for giving us the opportunity to offer you a tour in our very own way, a Trip for Collectors. Until we meet again on our next Trip.

Tour Location

Α “Sicilian expedition” to History and to Gastronomy. The most complete package among all they are offered for Sicily. Sicily of the Ancient Greeks, of the Ancient Romans and of the Contemporary Sicilians. A travelling experience based on one of Cavafi’s poem, "The Poseidonians".

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  • Melodrakma Universal
    5 February, 2017 at 12:24 am

    Awesome!!! 😉

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